Alabama National Guard helping oil spill claims filers

Members of the Alabama National Guard have fanned out across the state's coastal communities to help residents submit claims for lost wages and other damages from the BP oil spill.

At restaurants and other sites, the Guard members are providing three-page handouts and fielding questions to help get the claims process started.

Gov. Bob Riley called out the troops because so few of the area's 600,000 residents have sought compensation. Riley said Friday about 10,000 people have now filed claims, up by about 3,000 from three days ago.

He also encouraged people to come to the coast, saying the beaches can be enjoyed despite the oil washing up on the shoreline.

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