At least 2 killed in Alabama as severe storms and suspected tornadoes sweep across the South
By Jason Hanna and Aya Elamroussi, CNNUpdated: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 13:57:09 GMTSource: CNNEditor's Note: Affected by the storms? Use CNN's lite site for low bandwidth.Severe storms with suspectBy Jason Hanna and Aya Elamroussi, CNN
Updated: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 13:57:09 GMT
Editor's Note: Affected by the storms? Use CNN's lite site for low bandwidth.
Severe storms with suspected tornadoes ripped through parts of the South from Tuesday into Wednesday morning, killing at least two people in Alabama and damaging homes and other buildings in at least three states, officials said.
Two people were killed and at least one other was injured when a tornado hit Wednesday morning in the Flatwood area near Alabama's capital, Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Christina Thornton told CNN.
"Thanks to the heroic efforts of our first responders many other lives were saved. We pray for our community as we mourn this tragic loss of lives," Thornton said.
At least 29 tornado reports have been made since Tuesday afternoon, mostly in central and southern Mississippi and Alabama, as well as in Louisiana, the Storm Prediction Center said.
The extent of the damage wasn't immediately clear, but early reports included:
• Alabama: Tornadoes early Wednesday were believed to have damaged homes in communities including Boylston near Montgomery, and in the southwest of the state, according to early reports made to the National Weather Service.
An apartment complex was torn apart late Tuesday near Eutaw in western Alabama's Greene County, with a roof torn off and fallen walls exposing residents' rooms, video from CNN affiliate WBMA showed. The damage, preliminarily attributed to a tornado, left some displaced residents taking shelter at a middle school, WBMA reported.
In nearby Hale County, many trees and some homes were damaged in the small town of Akron. No injuries were immediately reported there, county emergency management Director Russell Weeden said.
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• Mississippi: In the community of Steens in Lowndes County, a church's steeple was blown off and a grocery store saw some damage Tuesday evening, Cindy Lawrence, the county's head of emergency management, told CNN.
Mississippi State University in Starkville briefly asked students to seek shelter during a tornado warning Tuesday night. Earlier in the day, classes at two of the school's campuses were taught remotely and some dining halls were closed due to the threat. Regular operations were expected to resume Wednesday, the university said.
• Louisiana: Several homes were damaged in northern Louisiana's Caldwell Parish, where the National Weather Service reports a tornado is believed to have struck Tuesday night, CNN affiliate KNOE reported. At least one home collapsed, with bricks, boxes, a mattress and other debris strewn around the area, KNOE video showed.
More than 54,000 power outages were reported in the Southeast on Wednesday morning, including 41,000 in Alabama and 13,000 in Mississippi, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us.
Some parts of the South, including between Huntsville and Birmingham in Alabama, saw between 2 and 4 inches of rain Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the storm prediction center issued a rare "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch, which is typically designated for the most significant severe-storm threats. That watch was in effect for central Mississippi, northeast Louisiana and southwest Arkansas through early Wednesday and has since expired.
Storms to weaken Wednesday, though strong morning storms still possible
Threats of severe weather remained Wednesday morning. A tornado watch was in effect for parts of southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and extreme southwestern Georgia until 11 a.m. CT.
"Thunderstorms capable of producing scattered damaging winds and a tornado or two will be possible" in these areas Wednesday morning, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Storms are expected to diminish in coverage and intensity through the afternoon across southeast Georgia and north Florida.