Gov. Ivey tours Fultondale tornado damage as search and rescue operations continue

Alabama News

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey toured the devastation left by a tornado that swept through Fultondale Monday night.

Ivey made her first stop at the intersection of Darlene Drive and Carson Road (video in player above). Her second was in Black Creek Park.

Ivey, joined by Fultondale Mayor Larry Holcomb, Center Point Mayor Bobby Scott, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Jeff Coker, Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings and Fultondale Fire Chief Justin McKenzie, answered questions from the media at Fultondale City Hall before her tour of the damage.

In the press conference the governor discussed the lone death in the EF-3 tornado, a 14-year-old boy named Elliot Hernandez.

WATCH: Gov. Ivey speaks at Fultondale City Hall after tornado devastates community

“Homes and businesses can be rebuilt, but losing a young soul to a storm like this is beyond heartbreaking,” Ivey said.

According to the governor, the damage done to Fultondale High School may be too substantial to repair. Jefferson County Schools is working with the city and affected families to provide resources to displaced students.

“Alabama is no stranger to the danger Mother Nature is capable of handing out,” Ivey said.

As of Wednesday morning, first responders were still conducting search and rescue operations. However, Chief McKenzie said no residents are unaccounted for at this time. Around 30 people have been treated for injuries caused by the storm.

Ivey encouraged Alabamians to contribute to the governor’s relief fund, which she says will be made available to support the Fultondale and Center Point communities.

Fultondale mayor Larry Holcomb, who has been in his position for just two months, said he had received calls from across the country, offering assistance.

“People say that we’re divided, and at some point we may be…but when something like this happens we’re not divided…we’re one union, under God,” Holcomb said. “When something like this happens we come together and we work together.”

Center Point Mayor Bobby Scott extended his thank to the first responders and said his city would offer more assistance to Fultondale “as soon as [they] have taken care of [their] citizens in Center Point.”

As of Wednesday morning, damage assessments have not yet been completed, so estimates on the financial impact have yet to be determined.

“We’re working in conjunction with locals to do damage assessments,” Brian Hastings, Alabama EMA director, said. “It’s presumptuous to think we’d get some type of federal assistance at this time. The survivors of this disaster as already receiving assistance…to get them to a better tomorrow.”

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