At least seven people were killed, several were injured and extensive damage was reported on Thursday as tornadoes and extreme weather ripped through the southeastern United States.
A series of tornadoes and thunderstorms that hit central Alabama killed at least six people. In Georgia, a tree fell on a vehicle during a severe storm, killing a passenger inside.
Several states were under tornado watch as of Thursday night. Across the country, there were 33 separate tornado reports Thursday from the National Weather Service on Thursday night, though the reports are yet to be confirmed and some could be classified as wind damage in the coming days. .
Some of the worst damage from what the National Weather Service described as a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” affected the historic town of Selma, Alabama, and surrounding areas, where homes were flattened and trees uprooted.
The storm system comes as Californians are experiencing a series of atmospheric river storms that have killed at least 18 people in floods and mudslides that have caused more than $1 billion in damage so far.
BEFORE AND AFTER:Dramatic footage captures the devastation of a series of California storms
1 dead, railcars derailed after Georgia storm
A tree fell on a vehicle during a possible tornado in Jackson, Georgia, killing one person in the passenger seat, according to Butts County Coroner Lacey Prue.
Elsewhere in the county, the storm’s force appeared to have knocked a freight train off the tracks, blocking intersections in the area. Butts County officials said three cars on the train derailed.
“Please understand that we cannot move the train,” officials said.
Local officials posted photos and videos on social media of the damage caused by the storm. A video posted by Deputy County Manager J. Michael Brewer showed water entering a large warehouse owned by Master Brand Cabinets after the metal roof was torn off.
Schools in Butts County will be closed on Friday.
6 dead in Alabama after tornado hits Autauga County
Several tornadoes were reported in central Alabama on Thursday, but one confirmed tornado killed at least six people in Autauga County, officials said.
The confirmed tornado traveled through Dallas and Autauga counties, causing damage.
The six people, who were not identified, were killed in Autauga County, about 40 miles northeast of Selma, according to Autauga County Sheriff David Hill. Hill said one of the victims was an adult male located in the Old Kingston area.
Several people were trapped in their homes and at least 12 were missing in the wake of the tornado, officials said. Rescue efforts were underway Thursday.
MORE FROM ALABAMA:Death toll rises as tornado hits Autauga County, Selma
Authorities estimate that 40 to 50 homes were damaged or destroyed by storms that cut a swath across the county, according to Ernie Baggett, director of emergency management for Autauga County. He said at least 12 people were seriously injured and taken to hospitals by emergency crews. Crews, he added, are focused on cutting down fallen trees to look for other people who might be injured.
Cleanup and rescues in progress after tornado in Selma, Alabama
About 40 miles away, in the historic town of Selma, the fast-moving storm system destroyed house walls, toppled roofs and uprooted trees.
In Selma, power lines and hundreds of trees were downed. Former state senator Hank Sanders said he was “raining on the roof” in his kitchen after the storm damaged his home.
Cars were on their side and streetlights were strewn across the city center. Clouds of thick black smoke rose over the city from a fire. It is not immediately known whether the storm caused the fire. A few blocks across the city’s famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, an enduring symbol of the voting rights movement, buildings were flattened by the storm and trees blocked roads.
“It happened in about five seconds,” said Caleb Morris.
Morris lives in the neighborhood behind the Selma Country Club, which lost its roof in the storm. He escaped the storm in his basement and was relieved to find no damage to his home.
The roof of the Selma Country Club was ripped off in the tornado. At least one person is believed to be trapped in Selma County, but no deaths were reported in Selma County as of Thursday night.
Selma Mayor James Perkins has established a city curfew while first responders assess the damage.
Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for six counties following the severe weather.
Tornado warnings are issued in the south
Several tornado warnings were issued Thursday in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee as a storm system moved through the region, the Service’s Storm Prediction Center said. National Meteorology.
By night, the weather service said parts of the Florida panhandle and southeastern Alabama and Georgia were under tornado warnings until 9 pm.
“Some tornadoes” and wind gusts of up to 65 mph were possible in those areas, the NWS said, along with large hail events up to 1 inch in diameter.
Potential tornado damage reported in Kentucky, Mississippi
In Kentucky, the Louisville National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Mercer County and said crews were assessing damage in several other counties.
In Monroe County, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials said they were assessing some severe damage after a possible tornado.
Another storm hit Griffin, south of Atlanta, Georgia, with winds damaging a commercial area, local media reported. A Hobby Lobby store lost part of its roof and at least one car flipped over in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart.
Power outages reported in Alabama, Georgia
More than 36,000 customers were without power in Alabama and more than 76,000 were in the dark in Georgia as of 9:00 pm ET Thursday, according to tracker PowerOutage.us. Another 14,000 were also left without electricity in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Collaborators: Brad Harper, Alex Gladden, Marty Roney, Hadley Hitson, Evan Mealins, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser; The Associated Press
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