Together, we can weather this storm

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

By Bradley Byrne
U.S. House of Representatives

One month before the beginning of hurricane season on June 1, Southwest Alabama was hammered with rain and flooding on a level beyond what many of us can remember from any hurricane in recent memory.

Rain in some areas was measured above 20 inches, and rivers rose far beyond their banks to damage homes and businesses all along the Alabama coast. One thing I know: in this area, we are resilient when it comes to weathering storms, and we will bounce back.

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On Friday morning, I toured the damage in Baldwin County by helicopter to get a better sense of the level of destruction and what I can do to help. At that point, while most of the swollen rivers had receded back into their banks, there was still significant standing water and damage to roads and bridges across the county. Sadly, this storm has claimed the lives of multiple citizens of southwest Alabama.

As our area’s representative, it is my job to advocate on our behalf when disasters such as these occur.

Last week, I proudly sent two letters, along with the rest of our congressional delegation, to President Obama supporting the disaster declaration by Governor Bentley. As we move forward with rebuilding, I will be a strong advocate for our area to ensure we have the necessary resources in hand to repair the damage to our roads, bridges, and property.

Last week our nation stopped to recognize the National Day of Prayer during these storms in southwest Alabama. I am continuing to pray for those who have been affected by the flooding in our area.

I thank God for watching over us and pray that there will be no more loss of life in the aftermath of this storm. I am confident with His guidance we will weather this damage.

Moving forward, I will continue to engage with local leaders so that I can be an effective advocate in Washington for our rebuilding process.

Bradley Byrne is the U.S. representative for the 1st Congressional District of Alabama, which includes Escambia County.