published Thursday, May 1st, 2014

TN Gov. Bill Haslam tours tornado damage in Lincoln County

  • photo
    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, right, confers with Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder, center, and state Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville, about tornado damage to the rural area near Fayetteville, Tenn., on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The Monday storm killed two people nd did extensive damage to buildings in the rural area near the Alabama line, including to the South Lincoln Elementary School.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that he is impressed by the resiliency of Lincoln County residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado earlier this week.

Haslam surveyed the damage to homes and a school by helicopter and on foot, telling reporters afterward that he was struck by the "horrible destructive nature of this and the randomness" of the tornado.

"You'd see one house destroyed and another house 50 yards away, where not a shingle had been overturned," he said.

Two people were killed in the storm that hit the largely rural area near the Alabama line Monday evening. Officials say at least 35 homes were destroyed.

Haslam said he visited the area to "express our sympathy to the families who lost two loved ones and all the other people who have seen their lives turned over end due to the destruction of the storm."

Haslam said the state is estimating the damage to homes and businesses to apply for federal disaster relief.

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