Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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(WTVM) – President Obama is postponing the ceremony honoring Auburn University's 2010 BCS National Championship at the White House, so that he can spend the day Friday meeting with the governor, meeting families and viewing damage in the severely devastated state.
In Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley and surveyors are out accessing the damage. The death toll in the state is now more than 200.
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Ivey told the media Thursday, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones and property due to the devastation of this tremendous disaster. I continue to monitor the impact of this storm through reports provided by EMA and will support all efforts by Governor Bentley and our Congressional delegation. I want to ensure that every appropriate resource is made available to restore the lives, businesses, and properties of the citizens of Alabama. "
More than 1000 Alabama National Guard Units have been mobilized to aid in relief efforts. Road closure information is available at the Alabama Department of Transportation website.
Governor Nathan Deal toured the state Thursday after strong storm cells ravaged the state Wednesday night.
Governor Deal says so far 14 people died across the state, and 16 counties were affected.
He says that searches are underway for the people who have not been accounted for. It is not known at this time how many people are missing.
GEMA and others are working across the state to assist with efforts.
Deal says the state does not have the financial resources to help with efforts, but he is confident that the state will receive federal aid to cover the costs associated with relief.
He says local governments will need restitution for efforts related to restoring transportation, clearing trees and restoring services. In addition, loan assistance will need to be made available for businesses and individuals needing to restore their livelihoods and their housing.
The National Weather Service was in Harris, Troup, and Meriwether counties accessing the damage. Surveyors say an EF3 tornado struck the areas.
In Meriwether County, schools are closed. We are told that an entire hotel was evacuated, a trailer park was demolished and a roof was ripped off Mountain View Elementary during Wednesday's fury. We are told that school officials will meet Friday to discuss how to finish the rest of the school year amongst rubble.
Schools in Troup County were closed Thursday, but schools will open Friday.