Thursday, May 1, 2014

Federal lawmakers support help for panhandle storm victims

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has written President Obama asking for federal resources to help residents in the Florida Panhandle areas that were clobbered by the severe weather system that blew through the South.

Deaths, property destruction and flooding have been reported in a number of states including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

On Wednesday, Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson was among those calling for federal assistance by contacting U.S. Senator's Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller.

While a formal disaster request would first have to come from Gov. Rick Scott, who’s touring the impacted areas today, Nelson wrote President Obama in anticipation of such.

"I ask that you ensure all necessary federal support is offered as needed to protect life and property in the communities affected by these storms," Nelson wrote in his letter to the president.

Hundreds of Panhandle residents were caught off guard by fast rising waters from torrential rains that pounded the area in a span of about 24 hours.  About 30,000 residents are reportedly without power and at least one death in Florida is being attributed to the storm.

All told, more than three dozen deaths have been reported nationwide.