At Least 23 Reported Dead After Tornadoes Hit Alabama, Georgia

According to CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, the Alabama Coroner was anticipating more bodies to be sent to its facilities.

by Kate Feldman, New York Daily News / March 4, 2019
Damage is seen from a tornado that killed at least 23 people in Beauregard, Ala., on Monday, March 4, 2019. Rescuers in Alabama were set to resume search operations Monday after at least two tornadoes killed 23 people, uprooted trees and caused "catastrophic" damage to buildings and roads in the southern U.S. state Sunday. TNS

(TNS) — Multiple tornadoes touched down across Alabama and Georgia Sunday afternoon, causing wreckage and several fatalities.

At least 23 people were killed around Lee County, Ala., Sheriff Jay Jones said around 10:30 p.m., but warned that the number is likely to increase as more destruction is uncovered.

Among the dead was an 8-year-old girl, according to WSFA.

“We’ve done everything we feel like we can do this evening. The area is just very, very hazardous to put anybody in to at this point in time — debris everywhere and it’s just … just some mass damage to structures and residences in the area,” Jones told reporters.

According to CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, the Alabama Coroner was anticipating more bodies to be sent to its facilities.

Spokeswoman Rita Smith also told AL.com that there were “multiple fatalities” and that a series of search and rescue operations are underway.

“We’ve still got people being pulled out of rubble,” Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told Al.com. “We’re going to be here all night.”

Storm warnings were issued for counties across the southeast Sunday afternoon as the tornadoes took down wires, poles, gas stations and houses.

Half a mile of land was completely flattened in Talbotton, Ga., just outside the courthouse, officials said.

Leigh Ann Erenheim, director of the Talbot County Emergency Management Agency, told ABC 13 that multiple people were injured when the intense winds destroyed several mobile homes in the area.

Erenheim described mostly minor injuries, but some houses in town had been destroyed.

As of 4 p.m., about 10,400 people were without power in central Alabama, according to WSFA.

Schools in Lee County have already been closed for Monday and the East Alabama Medical Center said it had taken in more than 40 patients as of about 6 p.m.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the storms that hit Lee County today. Praying for their families & everyone whose homes or businesses were affected,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted.

The tornado watch was also put in place for parts of South Carolina, including Charleston and Columbia, and a tornado was reported in the Florida Panhandle.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday night asking the people in the affected areas to “be careful and safe” since “more could be coming.”

“To the families and friends of the victims, and to the injured, God bless you all,” the president’s account posted.

It’s unclear how many were injured in the natural disaster.

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