The following is a news release from Enterprise Mayor, Kenneth Boswell.
March 3, 2007-The City of Enterprise and the following departments are issuing the following press release information:
- The City of Enterprise Engineering Department is asking that all residents stay out of the devastated areas, particularly in the downtown area. There are still traffic lights down on Rawls Street, Lee Street, and Watts Street.
- Volunteers and Contractors are on a volunteer basis at this point. The City is not at a stage where they can make contracts with companies or provide monetary reimbursement for services. We appreciate your respect on this issue.
- If citizens should work with a contractor and form an agreement for monetary reimbursement, that contract is strictly between the individual and the contractor. Residents with damage need to be cautious about vendors offering fraudulent services.
- There is currently a volunteer station at City Hall. Volunteers can check-in at this station or they can go to the volunteer staging area where they will be asked to fill out release paperwork and then they will be disbursed to the areas they are needed. The staging area is located at 208 East Watts Street behind the hospital.
- At this time, The City of Enterprise Fire Department has checked all areas that received extensive damage for victims. Cadaver dogs were brought in and no persons are reported missing that could have been a victim in the storm. They are responding to numerous calls for gas leaks and are assisting the gas company with those by reporting to them. Operations will continue at the school primarily for safety precautions.
The City of Enterprise Police Department is asking that all citizens refrain from parking under power lines and in front of debris along the roadside. This will enable Alabama Power to accelerate the return of electricity in the affected areas. A curfew is still in effect for the City, but only in the affected areas. The curfew will begin at 8:00pm and will end at 6:00am. Citizens attempting to get into these areas need to have a source of identification that includes their address so that public safety officers can ensure the area's safety. A schedule for the removal of vehicles is being released. At this time, citizens are not allowed to enter areas to retrieve their vehicles.
- The City of Enterprise Water Department is letting residents know that the city water supply has not been affected by the March 1, 2007 tornado. The system did not lose pressure and there no main breaks. The water quality was not affected and is safe to drink.
- The City of Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department is accepting food donations at the Enterprise Recreation Center on East Lee Street. From there, food will be packaged and delivered to the areas where it is needed. Those wishing to make a food donation can contact the center at (334) 348-2681 or (334) 348-2682. The City Distribution Center is located on Boll Weevil Circle in the Enterprise Shopping Complex in front of JCPenney. The Center will distribute water, ice, tarps, and MRE's to those needing assistance. Those wishing to make donations can bring non-perishable food, diapers, baby food and formula, toothpaste, soap, and hand sanitizer. The center is open from 7:00am until 7:00pm. There are also three other staging areas located at Westside Community Park on College Street, the YMCA area, and the Hillcrest Baptist Church parking lot. The City is not currently seeking clothing donations.
- The City of Enterprise Fleet Maintenance Department has verified that all city vehicles are up and running.
- The City of Enterprise Public Works Department has been working and most city roads are cleared for traffic. They are also requesting that all citizens stay out of the devastated areas so that personnel can continue to remove debris.
- The Lutheran Disaster Response is working with Volunteer Mobile and the Office of the Governor Faith-Based Initiative to coordinate volunteer efforts. There are currently over 200 volunteers working with The City of Enterprise. We ask that all volunteers register their names so hours can be documented to obtain matching federal funds and to ensure the safety of volunteers. Once again, the volunteer center is located at 208 East Watts Street behind the hospital. Citizens with unmet needs can also come to this location where they can be directed for help.
- Currently, monetary donations are preferred. Donation can be made through the Enterprise Alabama Tornado Fund. Information can be obtained at the www.cityofenterprise.net or they can call 1-877-598-4584. Lines will be open Monday through Saturday from 8:00am until 9:00pm Eastern time. There will be a recording after hours to provide additional information. Donations can also be mailed to Enterprise Alabama Tornado Fund, P.O. Box 311245, Enterprise, Al 36331.
- On March 1, 2007, Mayor Kenneth Boswell along with the City councilman issued a local emergency due to damage suffered throughout the city from tornados. This resolution authorized the Mayor and the council to seek federal disaster funds, and authorize emergency purchases. On March 1, 2007, Alabama Governor Bob Riley declared a State of Emergency due to the devastation caused by tornadoes in the Coffee County area. This declaration allows the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to make appropriate assessments and seek state and federal assistance. On March 3, 2007, President George W. Bush declared Coffee County, Alabama a major disaster area. This declaration allowed individuals to seek federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- The Enterprise City Schools have closed school during the week of March 5-9, 2007. The Board of Education will meet during the week to determine when schools will reopen.
- The Alabama National Guard is continuing to offer support to Coffee County and the City of Enterprise. They are working closely with Alabama State Troopers the City law enforcement to ensure the safety of Enterprise citizens.
- Alabama Power is working to restore electricity to residents without power. There are approximately 2300 residents without power, primarily in the high school area. There are over 50 crews. Every outage case is being manned. Alabama Power's goal is to have all those can accept power restored by midnight, March 3.
- The Coffee County Emergency Management Agency is informing residents that they may be eligible for federal assistance. Affected residents must contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-621-3362 or on the Internet at www.fema.gov. Contacting FEMA does not automatically qualify a citizen for assistance, but callers will be issued a case number that they need to keep on file. Potential help may include: repairs of personal property for individuals and households, and low interest loans to homeowners, renters, and business owners.