The Severe weather outbreak More than two dozen tornadoes to the south have resulted in several deaths in Alabama’s Autauga County, the coroner said Thursday evening.
“We have multiple fatalities and are still searching for bodies,” said Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber.
Autauga County is east of Dallas County, where a large tornado touched down in the city of Selma Thursday afternoon. National Weather Service meteorologist Gerald Satterwhite told CNN that the twister was at least 50 miles on the ground and caused damage in seven counties across the state.
“It was a very significant tornado,” said Satterwhite, “with debris rising about 10,000 to 15,000 feet in the air.”
He added that a long-track tornado could be an EF-2 or EF-3. It says it is one of at least 30 tornadoes in the United States National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
Damage in Selma is widespread, Dallas County Coroner William Allen Dailey said. The damage goes “from one side of Dallas County to the other,” he said during a video news conference.
He said there were no casualties, but the injured were taken to Vaughan Regional Hospital.
According to images shared by Mike Pitts, a large funnel cloud passed through the area. After it passed, Pitts’ pictures showed houses without roofs, other roofs with shingles and roads blocked by piles of debris.
The storm “tore apart” Selma resident Chrishun Moore’s home, but no one was injured, he told CNN. She took refuge in a bathroom with her mother.
“All we heard was wind and the whole house shook,” Moore said.
Photos by Priscilla Lewis Downed power poles, debris strewn across the road and heavy damage to at least one building, CNN reported.
“It’s almost impossible to leave the city of Selma,” Lewis said.
Other photos taken by Kenneth Martin show the wind damage. A large building shows a large roof collapse.
Deborah A. Brown told CNN he was at a tax office downtown when he believed the tornado hit Broad Street.
In A Facebook video was posted After the storm, Brown could be heard telling people how blessed he and others there were.
“We could be gone, sir,” she says as she points the camera at the SUV with the windows broken. “We had to run for cover. We had to run and jump on the shelf.
Brown’s video shows a large pile of debris dragging power lines into the ground. In the alleyway next to the building she was in, it looks like part of a wall of a neighboring building has come down in a heap.
Selma, a city of about 17,000 people about 50 miles west of Montgomery, was the site of a major civil rights march in 1965 in which protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge were beaten by police and fired with tear gas, an incident “Bloody Sunday.”
“This is a disaster area. Powerlines are down and trees are down — it’s very dangerous,” Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said during a news conference. Nunn said inmates in county detention centers are being sent to other facilities.
Thursday evening too, Hurricane watches Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, the western Florida Panhandle and parts of far western North Carolina were closed with varying deadlines.
More than 147,000 customers in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee were without power as of 7:30 p.m. PowerOutage.us.
The governors of Alabama and Georgia each declared states of emergency for parts of their states.
Damage reports piled up Thursday across the Southeast and Ohio Valley as the storms advanced.
In north Alabama’s Morgan County alone, a storm Thursday morning caused 10 to 15 injuries — none of them believed to be life-threatening — and damaged numerous buildings, county sheriff’s spokesman Mike Swafford said.
Debris and downed power lines littered streets and fields in Decatur, a Morgan County community about 25 miles southwest of Huntsville, city police and the County Sheriff’s Department showed.
Siding was removed from a Decatur hotel Thursday morning, according to pictures taken by hotel guest Mark Spizala as he stayed in the laundry room as the storm hit.
“We lost power and we could hear the wind and the rain,” Spysala told CNN. The National Weather Service initially The reason Decatur damage from high winds.
Several preliminary tornado reports were issued in Alabama this morning, including in northwest Alabama’s Winston County and west Alabama’s Sumter County, where building damage was reported, the weather service said. said.
Trees and power poles were downed reported Along many roads in Winston County, its communities are dozens of miles northwest of Birmingham.
“Motorists should only travel on roadways in emergency situations and be aware of the weather,” the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency stresses. said In a series of tweets about the Winston County damage.
In northeast Mississippi’s Monroe County, several rural buildings were leveled or severely damaged after a storm passed through Thursday morning, a video tweeted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency showed.
No injuries were reported there, according to the agency, which may have caused a tornado damage. Weather service as a first step said Strong winds caused damage in the district.
The weather service reported wind damage to trees and buildings in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Kentucky before noon. said.
In Georgia, a tornado damaged Griffin High School in Griffin, south of Atlanta. Downed trees caused a leak in the gym, Griffin-Spalding School District spokesman Adam Buck said.