Deadly Tornadoes Strike Alabama, Georgia, Florida
A group of tornadoes touched down in Lee County, Alabama near the Georgia State Line on Sunday, leaving at least 23 dead, with the death toll expected to rise. At least 50 people were said to be injured in that county alone, some of them seriously. Search parties have been going through the rubble, attempting to find the missing.
The National Weather Service issued several storm warnings on Sunday across the South, according to the Weather Channel. Drones equipped with infrared cameras were reportedly deployed to help with the search for survivors. Three young children were killed in Lee County.
One 170 mph EF4 twister left a swath of devastation so wide that Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told reporters he’d never seen anything like it in all his years of living in Alabama.
“It looks almost as like someone took a giant knife and just scraped the ground. There are slabs where homes formerly stood. Whole forested areas, trees are just snapped and lying on the ground…
I have not seen this level of destruction ever in my experience here in Lee County. We have not had anything of this nature before.” Sheriff Jay Jones
The spate of tornadoes reached from Alabama, into Georgia, the Florida panhandle, and into South Carolina.
My hometown got hit by a MASSIVE tornado earlier. Please keep Lee County, Alabama in your prayers. There are multiple fatalities and more injuries than they can count. Damage covers a large area and lot of families looking for missing family members. pic.twitter.com/qZAYdZFTWz— Joshua Miller (@JoshuaDairen) March 4, 2019
10yo Taylor Thornton was killed yesterday when tornadoes touched down in Lee County, Alabama.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 4, 2019
Taylor was playing at a friend house when the tornadoes hit.
The Lee County coroner says a 6 & 9 year old child were also killed. pic.twitter.com/mYvecD7973
“It’s extremely upsetting to me to see these people hurting like this and the families who have lost loved ones. This is a very tight-knit community. These people are tough. They’re resilient people, and it’s knocked them down. But they’ll be back…It hurts my heart to see this.” Sheriff Jones
The deaths were so far largely concentrated in Lee County, Alabama. But Cairo, Georgia took a direct hit from an EF2 tornado with winds around 120 mph.
A tornado caused heavy damage just south of downtown Cairo, Georgia, said the city’s mayor, Booker Gainor. Dozens of homes and several businesses were damaged or destroyed. No reports of injuries or deaths, but several people were reportedly trapped in their homes. Jeffrey Burley, reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat
Please keep these families down on the plains in your prayers, Alabama Nation. If you’ve lived in this state long enough you have your own tornado story. Let’s hope this one has a happier ending than most for the people that rescuers are still… https://t.co/CkQLq1tnzp— The Alabama Nation (@AlabamaNati0n) March 4, 2019
The Lee County tornado crossing US 280 yesterday near Smiths Station. You can see the cell tower collapse at the beginning of the video. From Louis Bridges pic.twitter.com/YIYuZn5XnB— James Spann (@spann) March 4, 2019
Featured photo: The roof of the Buck Wild Saloon just east of Smiths Station, Alabama, was completely ripped off. Screenshot.