PICKENS COUNTY CREDITS STORM SHELTERS FOR LACK OF LIVES LOST

PICKENS COUNTY – The Alabama Emergency Agency teamed up with Pickens County officials to address storm damage in the Sapps community this afternoon.

 The top question asked? How can people help?

Pickens County Engineer Sky Hallmon said he encourages people to stay clear of the damaged areas so crews can focus on unblocking roadways and continuing the cleanup process.

If you were displaced by the storms, the Aliceville City Hall is serving as a shelter, and Red Cross and Salvation Army representatives are there assisting those in need.

As for injuries, a representative at the Pickens County Medical Center said there have only been four injuries reported, none of which are life-threatening.

All residents who were injured were from the hardest-hit Sapps community.

Jim Stefkovitch with the National Weather Service said the tornado track that impacted Sapps could have been an EF2 storm up to 30 miles long with wind speeds of 120 to 130 miles an hour.

Community members and experts said they credit the neighborhood storm shelter for the lack of injuries. The shelter was built with county EMA funds specifically for preventing loss of life during natural disasters.

Sefkovich said the NWS hopes to have the tornado assessment complete by the end of the week.

Anyone needing assistance as a result of the storms is encouraged to call the Pickens County EMA office at 205-367-2009.

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