Massive storm tears through Alabama and the southern United States, ripping roofs off and killing at least seven people

Massive storm tears through Alabama and the southern United States, ripping roofs off and killing at least seven people

Massive storm tears through Alabama and the southern United States, ripping roofs off and killing at least seven people

An “extremely dangerous” storm system swept through the southern United States, causing widespread destruction of homes and killing at least eight people, authorities said Thursday.

At least 34 preliminary tornadoes swept through the states of Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky, where storms ripped roofs off homes, uprooted trees and power lines and left tens of thousands of people without power, a said the Storm Prediction Center.

In Alabama County, at least six people have been confirmed dead in various storm-related incidents, said Ernie Baggett, the county’s director of emergency management.

“It really did quite a bit of damage. It’s the worst I’ve seen here in this county,” Baggett said.

An early estimate suggested that around 40 to 50 homes were damaged or destroyed by the powerful storms that cut a swath through the county.

In Georgia, a tree fell on a vehicle in Jackson as the storm ripped through the state, killing a passenger inside the car. It also derailed a freight train in the same county southeast of Atlanta, officials said.

“There are homes that have been completely destroyed and have yet to be excavated,” Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber said Thursday evening, adding that crews “are still digging through the rubble. “.

A damaged vehicle lies on its side in front of a house in Selma

(AP)

A number of people were reportedly trapped inside an apartment complex after trees fell, officials in Griffin, south of Atlanta, told local media.

Firefighters had to rescue a man by untying him after he was trapped for hours under a fallen tree on his home in Griffin.

Videos from Selma, a town famous for its history of the civil rights movement, showed a tornado cutting a wide path through downtown where buildings collapsed, oak trees fell, cars turned into turtles or rammed into each other and power lines were left dangling. .

Thick plumes of black smoke were seen rising above the city from a fire. It was not immediately known whether the storm had caused the fire.

Devastation is seen following inclement weather in Greensboro

(AP)

Selma Mayor James Perkins said no fatalities have yet been reported, but several people have been seriously injured. He said first responders were continuing to assess the damage and officials were hoping to get an aerial view of the city by Friday morning.

“We have a lot of downed power lines,” he said. “There is a lot of danger in the streets.

After the powerful tornado caused damage, Krishun Moore, a resident of the town of about 18,000, emerged from her home to the sound of children crying and screaming.

Ms Moore and her mother encouraged the children to keep screaming until they found two on the roof of a damaged flat.

Another resident, Malesha McVay, who captured terrifying footage of a tornado as she drove alongside the tornado with her family, said she was just under a mile from her home before it hit. ‘she turns away.

“It would hit a house and black smoke would swirl around,” she said. “It was very terrifying.”

About 40,000 homes were left without power in Alabama Thursday night, according to PowerOutage.us, which tracks outages nationwide.

In Georgia, about 86,000 customers were without power after the storm system carved a path through a county level just south of Atlanta.

Elmore County, Alabama suffered “much of the damage in the northwest part of the county,” said Keith Barnett, director of the county’s emergency management agency.

Thursday’s tornado outbreak was unusual and damaging due to three factors: a natural La Nina climate cycle, the warming Gulf of Mexico likely linked to the climate crisis, and a decades-long shift of tornadoes from west to east , said Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology.

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