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Lawmakers support federal help for storm victims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has written President Obama asking for federal resources to help residents in 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. Sens. 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, whos touring the impacted areas today, Nelson wrote 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.
Below is the text of Nelsons letter to Obama:
April 30, 2014
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
As you are aware, severe storms have recently struck the Panhandle of Florida after devastating a number of other communities across the Southeast United States.
In addition to loss of life and serious injuries in other states, reports indicate that at least two people have died in Florida. Therefore, its critical that these communities receive assistance to deal with critical needs. Already, a state of emergency has been declared in 26 counties and the Florida National Guard has been activated. 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.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.