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Obama signs disaster declarations for Georgia and Mississippi as death toll continues to rise

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Obama signs disaster declarations for Georgia and Mississippi as death toll continues to rise

2011-05-01 01:10:11 GMT+7 (ICT)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday signed disaster declarations for the states of Georgia and Mississippi as the death toll from Wednesday's violent tornado outbreak continues to rise.

Obama had already signed a disaster declaration for the state of Alabama, which has suffered the most damage and casualties from what is now the most deadly tornado outbreak since 1925.

The presidential disaster declarations for Georgia and Mississippi allow Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and associated flooding this month.

"We appreciate the prompt response by President Obama and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate as we begin the arduous process of recovery," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in response to the declaration. "Georgia's entire congressional delegation jumped into gear on the federal level to seek aid for their constituents, and their diligence has paid off. This assistance will be of great help to the survivors who are reclaiming their lives."

As of Saturday afternoon, a BNO News count confirmed at least 249 fatalities and 1,730 injured in Alabama alone from the tornado outbreak. In addition, local officials are reporting that hundreds more remain missing, although a part of them could just be with family or friends.

In addition, there are at least 34 fatalities and 163 injured in Mississippi, 34 fatalities and 107 injured in Tennessee, 15 fatalities in Georgia, five fatalities and 50 injured in Virginia, one fatality in Kentucky, two fatalities in Louisiana, and one fatality in Arkansas.

As the combined death toll has now reached 341 as a result of the storms, it is the deadliest tornado outbreak since the 1925 Tri-State tornadoes which killed 747 people. At least 695 of them were killed by a single tornado.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-01

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