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2 killed in tornadoes and severe storms in Alabama | news







Tornado damage in Flatwood, Alabama

A damaged mobile home in which two people died is seen Wednesday, November 30, 2022 in Flatwood, Alabama. Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly held people at a grocery store and ripped off the roof of an apartment complex in Mississippi and Alabama. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)


WETUMPKA (AP) — Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly pinned people at a grocery store and ripped off the roof of an apartment complex in Mississippi, while two people died when a tree crunched their RV in Alabama, authorities said Wednesday With .

The National Weather Service had warned that strong vortices capable of dismembering communities over long distances are possible as the storm front moves east from Texas. Fueled by record-breaking temperatures, they threatened a part of the United States home to more than 25 million people.

The “threat to supercells capable of withstanding all severe hazards lingers” near the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, forecasters said. A total of 73 tornado warnings and 120 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning, said Matthew Elliott, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Two people were killed in the community of Flatwood, north of the city of Montgomery. “They were at their home that was hit by a tree due to the tornado,” said Christina Thornton, director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.

On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service in Birmingham said a preliminary storm investigation in Flatwood, Montgomery County, found an EF-1 tornado with winds of 110 miles per hour caused the damage.

Thornton said others in the area were injured and search and rescue crews were able to check all homes in the area through Wednesday morning. The sheriff’s office said a shelter for affected residents would be opened at a nearby church.

In the western Alabama town of Eutaw, video from WBMA-TV showed large sections of the roof of an apartment complex missing, evicting 15 families in the middle of the night.

“We have power lines, trees all over the road,” Eutaw Police Chief Tommy Johnson told WBRC-TV. “In the morning when we get a bit of daylight we’ll search door by door to make sure nobody’s locked inside or anything.”

A suspected tornado overnight damaged numerous homes in Hale County, Alabama, where the emergency director said more than a third of people live in high-risk mobile homes.

“I’ve seen some really nice mobile homes tied down, but they just don’t stand a chance against a tornado,” Russell Weeden, Hale County’s chief of emergency management, told WBRC just before the storm.

Two other people were injured when the storm ripped apart homes in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff Clay Bennett told KNOE-TV.

The weather service confirmed that tornadoes hit the ground in Mississippi. Pictures of the wreck in Caledonia showed a damaged grocery store, a tattered fire station and a toppled house, but Cindy Lawrence, director of Lowndes County’s Emergency Management Agency, told WTVA-TV that everyone was unharmed.

Hailstones slammed into the windows of City Hall in the small town of Tchula, Mississippi, where sirens wailed and the mayor and other residents ducked for cover. “It hit the window and you could tell they were nice big balls,” Mayor Ann Polk said after the storm passed.

High winds downed power lines and flooding was a hazard, with more than 13 inches of rain falling in places in a matter of hours. More than 50,000 customers in Mississippi and Alabama were without power as of Wednesday morning, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks power outages.

Meteorologists had warned of the possible outbreak of a tornado several days before the storm. Elliott, who is coordinating the alerts, said it took a lot of work to break the news while people were celebrating the holidays and it seemed like people were taking the threat seriously.

“It’s a very prone part of the country to tornadoes — particularly tornadoes after dark,” Elliott said. “We must all work together to achieve the best outcomes in these types of events that could potentially lead to great devastation.”

Record high temperatures in Texas and Louisiana strengthened the storm front before moving to Mississippi and Alabama, weather forecasters said Wednesday.

Shreveport, Louisiana, warmed to 81 degrees (27.2 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday; and Tyler, Texas hit 82 degrees (27.8 degrees Celsius) in Shreveport, according to the National Weather Service. Both brands broke the old record of 80 set in 1949, the weather service said.

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