At least 23 dead after tornado sweeps through Alabama

At least twenty-three people, some of them children, have died after a tornado swept through Lee County, Alabama on Sunday, destroying numerous homes and leaving a death toll that could rise as rescuers sift through the rubble.

“Unfortunately the death toll has gone up,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told local media on Sunday night. “Unfortunately I feel that number may rise yet again.”

Emergency workers were expected to toil through the night, pulling bodies and the injured out of the wreckage of destroyed homes and businesses.

“We’ve done everything we feel like we can do this evening. The area is just very, very hazardous to put anybody in to at this point in time.”

Jones added that several people remained missing and that an organized search of the area would commence in the morning.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said the death toll could rise.

“We’ve still got people being pulled out of rubble,” he told the Birmingham News newspaper early on Sunday evening. “We’re going to be here all night.”

The East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika said in a statement that it was treating more than 40 patients as a result of the tornado and expects to receive more. Some patients have been sent to other hospitals, it added.

Severe weather unleashed one of numerous possible tornadoes that threatened the Southern United States on Sunday afternoon. Tornado warnings and watches were in effect for parts of Georgia and Alabama through Sunday evening.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey warned residents on Twitter that more severe weather might be on the way. She said the state was working to help families who had been impacted.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the storms that hit Lee County today,” Ivey wrote on Twitter. “Praying for their families & everyone whose homes or businesses were affected.”

She said she was extending a state of emergency for Alabama that was issued on Feb. 23 to deal with flooding.

Video footage from the small community of Beauregard in Lee County showed homes reduced to piles of wreckage, felled trees, and debris from blasted buildings scattered across roads.

Photos on social media from a highway near Smiths Station, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Beauregard, showed a large bar called the Buck Wild Saloon with its roof torn off and missing most of a wall after the storm swept through.

Lee County Schools announced on Twitter that campuses in the county would be closed on Monday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Birmingham, Alabama, said it was sending three survey teams out on Monday to assess damage in Autauga, Macon, Lee and Barbour Counties.

“Please stay out of damaged areas so first responders can do their job,” the NWS office said on Twitter.

The storm left more than 10,000 customers without power, the Birmingham News said, citing the utility Alabama Power.

As thousands faced a night without power, temperatures looked set to fall to near freezing following the storm.

“Colder air will sweep into the Southeast behind the severe weather with temperatures dropping into the 30s (1 C) southward to central Georgia and across most of Alabama by Monday morning,” AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said. “Those without power who rely on electric heat need to find ways to say warm.”

Source

more recommended stories

  • Why Mueller report doesn’t signify end of Russia probe

    On Friday, the special counsel Robert.

  • Trump supporters celebrate end of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation

    President Donald Trump’s supporters celebrated the.

  • Mueller report: what happens next

    The special counsel Robert Mueller on.

  • Robert Mueller has turned in his full report on the Russia investigation

    The special counsel Robert Mueller has.

  • Photos: California’s super bloom of flowers can be seen from space

    The hot, dry hillsides of Southern.

  • Tijuana residents stealing concertina barbed wire on border for homes

    Voluminous bundles of concertina wire strung.

  • The Cinderella team that rocked March Madness the year you were born

    The 2010 NCAA tournament was defined.

  • Dog dies in cargo hold of Air France flight

    A dog died on an Air.

  • State’s Pompeo jokes Trump may fire him via tweet as rumors swirl

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made.

  • WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The cast of 'Pretty Little Liars'

    Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell,.

  • Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes similarities

    Boeing has come under scrutiny after.

  • New Zealand attorney general backtracks on semi-automatic weapons ban

    David Parker, the attorney general of.

  • New Zealand terror attacks: 50 dead, suspect identified as Brenton Tarrant

    The death toll for the deadly.

  • Watch Ryan Moore score a hole-in-one at the par 3 17th at Sawgrass

    Ryan Moore just nailed one of.

  • I tried Every Man Jack’s activated charcoal skin-care line — here’s what it’s like

    Insider Picks writes about products and.

  • Where to buy the new Adidas Ultra Boost 19

    Insider Picks writes about products and.

  • A photographer captured the last ten years his parents spent together, and the heartbreaking photos provide an intimate look at enduring love and loss

    Fine Arts photographer Paddy Summerfield’s series.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo brought Juventus back from the dead, beating Atletico 3-0

    Before a ball had even been.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez more famous than top Republicans, Trump cabinet

    New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is.

  • Here are the finance executives charged in the college-admissions cheating scandal

    Manuel A. Henriquez is the cofounder,.

  • FDA to finish rules on e-cigarettes sales before Gottlieb resigns

    The US Food and Drug Administration.

  • The most stunning photos from this week’s news

    This week’s news included stunning shots.

  • Video suggests protesters set aid truck on fire at Venezuela border

    Last month, an US-backed effort to.

  • Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving free agency rumors are mounting

    Some believe that Durant may only.

  • Americans will need a visa to visit 22 European countries by 2021

    Travel to Europe won’t be so.

  • Air freight, a key measure of trade, sees biggest drop since 2015

    Air freight has been weakening since.

  • Elizabeth Warren call to break up Amazon, Google is a real threat

    It’s been a long time since.

  • Trump’s rhetoric casts doubt on how he responds to natural disasters

    President Donald Trump and the first.

  • The internet reacts to Mark Zuckerberg’s new privacy-focused Facebook

    On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg published a.

  • Steam blocks ‘Rape Day’ game release due to ‘unknown costs and risks’

    Steam, the most popular platform for.

  • American Eagle exec says brand primed to capitalize on store closings

    Teen-focused brand American Eagle, which also.

  • Self-driving cars worse at detecting people with dark skin, study says

    A new study from the Georgia.