Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Seven family members among 23 killed

Alabama Tornado Kills At Least 22, More Still Missing 23 dead after tornado tears through Alabama community
Leonard Rios | 09 March, 2019, 02:48

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was born in Mobile in the south-west of the state, said he was "devastated" by the news, saying Lee County was "a place close to my heart". The enormous twister apparently churned for about 70 miles (110 kilometers), crossing the state line and ending in neighboring Georgia, the National Weather Service said.

The massive destruction was described by Lee County sheriff Jay Jones as "a giant knife" scraping the ground.

Just down the road, where several people died, Trump supporter Bobby Spann said he hoped the president learned "how to be a Southerner, and how to respect people" during his brief visit. The youngest of those killed was six and the oldest was 89.

For some, the pain of loss is being feltmany times over.

Erroll Reese told CNN affiliate WRAL that he lost seven members of his family to the tornadoes, and that at least 30 more now are without homes. "Some of these families have lost practically nearly the entire family". One of their two brothers who lived at the house survived and was taken to a hospital.

First responders walk through a neighborhood heavily damaged by a tornado the day before in Beauregard, Ala., on Monday.

She says that growing up, she learned the importance of community.

"Everybody was still family whether they were related or not", she said. "We gotta help our families".

They were at home when they heard the tornado alert on their phones, she said.

The president and first lady are joined by Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Peter Gaynor, deputy administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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"Troopers have a strong sense of camaraderie and will surround the Burroughs family at this time and offer support both short and long term", said Corporal Jess Thornton.

Cousins Johnathan Marquez Bowen, 9, and Mykala Waldon, 8, were also killed in the tornado. "He helped with CPR and transport", cried Hart.

Residents who've lost their homes can get shelter, food and medications, she said.

"We're here for the citizens".

In the wake of the destruction, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey urged the public to utilize an online database to look for loved ones missing in Lee County.

Officials overseeing the disaster response to a tornado-stricken community in Alabama say all people reported missing have been accounted for with no increase in the death toll.

Some 42,000 homes and businesses in Alabama and Georgia, which was also impacted by the storms, were without electricity Sunday as the National Weather Service issued a "freeze warning" for residents from Hamilton to Demopolis due to temperatures dropping to the high 20s throughout the night and into Monday morning.

Tornadoes are measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale from 0 to 5 based on intensity and damage caused.

Its destructive winds reached 170 miles per hour (274 kph) as it carved a path of destruction almost a mile wide.

The agreement was outlined in President Trump's major disaster declaration, which Ivey requested earlier this week.

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