Marengo County residents feel overlooked after tornadoes

LINDEN, AL (WSFA) - We've heard a lot about the cities and towns devastated by the tornado outbreak.  But residents in Marengo County worry that they're being overlooked.  The county was hit by multiple tornadoes on April 15th and April 27th.

"It sounded like a big train, said Mikel Wilson, who lives between Linden and Sweetwater.  "It had a roaring sound, that's what got me to running, and as I was running, the house started coming apart, it was so quick."

But the effects of the tornadoes that went through Marengo County on April 15th have been long-lasting.

"You find yourself after something like this staying in a motel.  And it's very mentally disturbing."

Wilson and others here feel somewhat neglected.  Attention moved to other areas after the tornadoes on April 27th.  County residents were not eligible for federal assistance until after those storms.

"We lost lives," said Dephine Kirkland, whose home was damaged.  "Our homes look just like the ones in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham."

Even though weeks have passed since the tornadoes, the need for help is still great.  In fact FEMA reports a 32% increase in the number of people seeking disaster relief statewide."

"That's totally understandable," said Jim Homstad, a public information officer for FEMA.  "These people have been in state of stress and bewilderment when something like this has happen."

FEMA said more than 214 people have visited their disaster recovery center in Linden, as of May 12th.

"That's an indication that people here did their job and people got the help they need," Homstad said.

FEMA closed its center in Linden Friday evening.  Residents still needing assistance can call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362 or visit the center in Butler in Choctaw County.

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