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23 dead after tornado tears through Alabama community

23 dead after tornado tears through Alabama community

In Alabama, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said that rescue and recovery operations overnight were hard.

"It looks like someone nearly just took a giant knife and scraped the ground", Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said of the devastation during a Monday morning news conference. "Sadly, we know that we have two known confirmed fatalities and many, many injuries". Other reports came from the Beauregard area.

People walk amid debris in Lee County, Ala., after what appeared to be a tornado struck in the area Sunday, March 3, 2019.

He says it's possible the death toll could continue to rise, but authorities are pausing search efforts overnight because conditions are too unsafe in the dark due to massive amounts of debris.

A coroner says at least three children are among the 23 dead after at least one tornado devastated part of Alabama. The tornado watch also covered a large area of SC, including the cities of Charleston and Columbia.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey warned residents on Twitter that more severe weather might be on the way.

Julie Morrison, a 61-year-old produce manager who has lived in Beauregard for 19 years, said she survived the storm by hiding in a bathtub with her husband. "Praying for their families & everyone whose homes or businesses were affected".

A massive deadly tornado that struck the U.S. state of Alabama was up to 1.6 kilometres wide and packed wind speeds of up to 274 kilometres an hour.

Sheriff Jones told local CBS station WRBL-TV that the damage in his community trailed several miles long and about 1/4 of a mile wide.

The 23 deaths reported on Sunday marked the deadliest day for tornadoes in Alabama since the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado that killed more than 200 people in 2011.

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President Donald Trump has tweeted to Alabama residents to be safe in the wake of deadly storms, including an apparent tornado that has claimed several lives in that Southern state.

The tornado was at least a half-mile wide when it touched down in Lee County.

The National Weather Service said it had confirmed a tornado by radar that toppled trees in a Florida Panhandle county, halting traffic on a stretch of Interstate 10 in one direction because of debris.

The tornado was part of a powerful series of storms that slashed through the Deep South, resulting in several tornado warnings in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Footage showed smashed buildings and snapped trees in Talbotton, about 80 miles south of Atlanta.

The tornado has killed a number of people in Alabama. Trees all around had been stripped bare.

"The last check I had was between six and eight injuries", Erenheim said in a phone interview. "It's a favorable environment for tornadoes".

Rita Smith, spokeswoman for the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, said first responders were on the scene in two different areas of the county.

As of Monday afternoon, no additional victims had been recovered through search and rescue efforts but authorities have not yet finished looking, Sheriff Jay Jones said Monday.

The threat of severe weather continued into the late-night hours.


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