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Butler County declared a disaster area

Butler County residents and business owners now have the opportunity to apply for disaster funds due to the tornadoes that occurred on Nov. 25, according to Michael C. Allen, director of the United States Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Program.

President Bush declared several Alabama counties disaster areas after severe weather and tornadoes ripped through the state Nov. 24 and 25.

Scott Adcock, media relations director for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, says that in the counties which were declared disaster areas, $4.7 million damage was done and there were four fatalities.

Adcock said the bulk of the financial aid will be in the form of individual assistance and will pay for clean-up and rebuilding.

One particular tornado, which struck the Georgiana and McKenzie communities, damaged several homes and buildings, including Calvary Baptist Church, and seriously injured one individual.

According to Bob Luman of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, there were several homes damaged by the tornado as were a few other buildings and dams.

The home of Billy and Tammy Morgan, which is located on Odom Crossroads just west of McKenzie, was completely destroyed and Tammy Morgan suffered severe injuries. The other family members were treated for minor injuries. The Morgan trailer rolled nearly 100 yards when the tornado struck.

Emergency crews feared other injuries at Calvary Baptist Church but all individuals in the church were able to escape without injury.

At Monday's meeting of the Greenville City Council, the council approved a resolution to file application for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "They will come into town and we will show them where the problems are," said Mayor Dexter McLendon. "We will show them what happened and then they will assess the damage. We will definitely try to get some relief for certain areas."

President Bush made the declaration Dec. 7, after a request by Governor Don Siegelman. Siegelman visited the counties hardest hit by the severe weather Thanksgiving weekend, then requested assistance from the government.

Other counties which have been declared disaster areas and are now eligible for government assistance include Autauga, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Dale, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, S. Clair, Talladega and Winston.

Any residents of these counties who experienced property damage should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-462-9029 or TTY 1-800-462-7585, for the hearing impaired.