Lawrence County helping tornado victims

Lawrence County helping tornado victims

By Josh Ault
WAFF 48 News Reporter

Federal aid has been denied for tornado victims in the Valley, but it is not stopping local agencies from helping those effected.

Today, representatives from several agencies met today at the Lawrence County EMA office to see where the needs are.

Hillard Frost, Lawrence County EMA Director, said, "I feel like everyone is being taken care of.  We hope to do better."

Frost says the unity of the county agencies and volunteers have made the initial clean-up effort a success.

Valerie Coan, of the Salvation Army, said, "The recovery here in Lawrence County is getting more into the long-term phase, the initial recovery effort has been accomplished."

United Way of American was able to push the 2-1-1 service, a 3-digit number that provides a victim all the resources in one place.

Laurie Lincoln, with Community Action, said, "There has been a significant increase.  What we knew going into this that there was a lot of pockets in Lawrence County that didn't know about 2-1-1."

Long-term recovery is the next step for tornado victims.  Just days after the tornado came through, Governor Riley visited and pledged he would do everything possible to get federal aid for Lawrence County victims.

The state can appeal the federal government's decision.

Frost said, "I think at this point, and the time it would take to get it declared, I'm not in favor of appealing it."

Frost had an emergency meeting with Lawrence County Commissioners this morning.  They hope the state can provide low interest loans, so people can start to rebuild sooner.

The government requires uninsured damage of $5.5 million before it gives aid.

The Lawrence County Volunteer Reception Center has moved.  Its new location is at 940 East Street in Moulton.  If you would like to volunteer in Lawrence County you can call 256-905-0552.

If your phone will not allow you to dial 2-1-1 for help, you can try these other numbers: 256-260-1781 or 1-866-869-4921.

To contact Josh Ault, email him at