President Donald Trump has granted Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration for the state, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) tweeted Tuesday.
On Sunday, deadly tornadoes destroyed southeastern Alabama. Granting an expedited major disaster declaration opens up additional federal funds to help the area recover from the storms.
“Thousands of Alabamians are suffering and in need of our staunch support as they work to rebuild their homes and businesses,” Shelby tweeted earlier Tuesday.
The EF-4 tornado left 23 dead, including children, and dozens more missing in the town of Beauregard, making it the deadliest twister in the country since 2013. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WSFA-TV that rescue crews have not recovered any additional bodies as of Tuesday evening.
Members of the Alabama congressional delegation sent a letter Tuesday morning to Trump in support of Ivey’s request.
“Considering the scope and intensity of this natural disaster, we ask that you carefully review Gov. Ivey’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration,” the letter stated. “In doing so, you will allow thousands of Alabamians to begin the slow process of rebuilding.”
Trump is expected to visit destroyed areas in the state on Friday.
“This is a difficult time for the state of Alabama, but knowing that we have this additional assistance, and the support of our president and folks across the country, we will get through this together,” Ivey said, according to the Opelika-Auburn News. “We will recover, and we will lift up Lee County in this time of need.”