On Sunday, President Joe Biden officially approved a "major disaster declaration" for Alabama following last week's storms that left many areas damaged and nine people dead.

"Alabama has been approved for a major disaster declaration in Dallas and Autauga counties following Thursday's devastating weather," Gov. Kay Ivey announced on social media. "[The president] and FEMA have been good partners in our recovery efforts, and we are thankful. Alabamians are resilient folks, and we will come back stronger."

Now that a disaster has been declared at the federal level, people living in the affected areas can apply for assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses "and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster" the White House said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) was among the first to thank the president for the decision.

"I'm thankful that [the president] has heard our calls and expedited this declaration which will free up critical federal resources to relieve, recover, and rebuild," Sewell said in a tweet. "I look forward to continuing to partner with [Gov. Kay Ivey], Alabama's congressional delegation, as well as state, local and community stakeholders to use these resources as an opportunity to build back Selma and all the affected areas better for the people of Alabama."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email daniel.taylor@1819news.com.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.