Death Toll Released After Tornado in Alabama
Severe storms ravaged the south between Tuesday and Wednesday, and accompanying tornadoes shredded homes and damaged infrastructure. In Alabama specifically, one tornado resulted in the deaths of at least two people and injured a third.
CNN states 29 tornado reports have come in since Tuesday afternoon. Affected states include Mississippi and Louisiana as well as Alabama. As of Wednesday morning, a tornado threat remains in place for these states. The news outlet reports the two confirmed fatalities so far occurred Wednesday morning in the Flatwood area near Montgomery, Alabama.
Preliminary Damage Reports Emerge Across the Southeast
Early reports from the National Weather Service state tornadoes that touched down Wednesday morning likely damaged homes in communities in Boylston near Alabama’s capital. They were also expected to have caused major damage more broadly across the southwest. In Greene County, Alabama, one tornado completely shredded an apartment complex. Footage shows it tore off the complex’s roof and left multiple apartments exposed to the elements.
In other areas, winds from tornadoes across Alabama were strong enough to uproot trees. Through Tuesday night, first responders farther north in Memphis, Tennessee were left directing traffic and responding to accident scenes. Heavy rainfall in the region sent many drivers hydroplaning.
In Mississippi, the news outlet reports another tornado ripped the steeple off of a church. It also left behind significant damage at a Lowndes County grocery store. Students at Mississippi State University were also asked to shelter in place Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana reported significant damage to multiple homes, with bricks, boxes, a mattress, and more flung across the region.
As await further reports regarding damage across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Christina Thornton praised the hard work of first responders. She attributes minimal injuries, fatalities, and damages to their commitment to the community.
To CNN, she said, “Thanks to the heroic efforts of our first responders many other lives were saved. We pray for our community as we mourn this tragic loss of lives.”
Thousands Without Power Across Alabama, Mississippi Following Devastating Tornadoes
As officials work to determine damage levels across the south, tens of thousands of residents across Alabama and Mississippi remain without power as of Wednesday morning.
Utility tracker PowerOutage.us reports there are at least 54,000 power outages in total across the Southeast as of Wednesday. 41,000 of those outages were recorded in Alabama following Tuesday and Wednesday’s tornadoes, and 13,000 were recorded in Mississippi.
While severe storms threatened multiple regions across the Southeast, weather experts state that the areas between Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama saw anywhere between 2 and 4 inches of rain later Tuesday. Heavy rainfall likely contributed to the tens of thousands of power outages that remain active across the south.
Fortunately, forecasters predict the severe storm system will weaken by Wednesday afternoon as it heads pushes toward southeast Georgia and north Florida.