- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

ELBA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley praised efforts to restore and improve the levee system while touring the town of Elba, which was affected by flooding.

Bentley visited the town in southern Alabama on Saturday and stopped in at Elba Elementary, where people had taken shelter from the flood waters. He says the levees are expected to withstand the river crest.

“Their homes have been destroyed,” Bentley said. “They really don’t have any place to go.”

The tiny, flood-prone Alabama town was underwater in 1929, which led to the constructions of levees for protection. The city flooded in 1990 when rising waters overwhelmed levees and again in 1998 when a levee failed under pressure from flood waters.

Bentley declared a state of emergency Friday amid widespread flash flooding that follows several days of intense weather throughout the Southeast.

“The most important thing are the lives of the people of Alabama, to protect them,” he said.

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