PICKENS COUNTY–Days after an EF2 tornado tore through parts of West Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley visited with community members and discussed the need for more storm shelters.

In a news conference, Bentley compared Tuesday’s event to the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. He credits the lack of fatalities this time to tornado shelters installed since that tornado.

“The thing that impressed me the most is when we come to the safe room that we put in 2012 and there were about 100 people in there, and I truly believe that that’s the only thing that saves lives are safe rooms, and if you don’t have a basement or have a room to be safe, then these safe rooms in rural communities are very important.”

There are 14 safe rooms in Pickens County, Bentley said, and more shelters are up for discussion throughout the state.

Bobby Wilkins, whose home was damaged Tuesday, said he was touched Bentley took time to visit with the tornado victims.

“This is a very small community,” he said. “I’m glad that he saw the need to come and visit the people to show his concern for the people of this state. It means a lot to me and I’m sure it means a lot to the people of this community.”

Bentley said he urged donations for the Governors Emergency Relief Fund through United Way.

“It goes directly to the people and it’s for unmet needs,” Bentley said.

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