At least seven people were killed in Georgia and Alabama by a massive storm system that went through the southern United States, producing severe winds and spawning tornadoes along its path. In Alabama’s historic downtown Selma, a tornado caused damage to buildings and tossed cars across the streets.
According to the authorities, circumstances are anticipated to be improved by Friday and they will have a better idea of the scope of the destruction and will begin searching for further casualties. Despite the storm beginning to weaken late on Thursday night, tens of thousands of customers throughout the two states were still without power.
The municipal council of Selma, Alabama, conducted a meeting on the sidewalk to proclaim a state of emergency while using the lights from their smartphones. Selma is a place that will forever be associated with the history of the civil rights struggle.
According to Ernie Baggett, the county’s emergency management director, six of the fatalities were recorded in Autauga County, which is located 41 miles northeast of Selma.
Baggett told the Associated Press that at least 12 individuals were injured badly enough that they needed to be transported to hospitals by emergency personnel. He said that personnel were working through the night on Thursday to cut through fallen trees in order to search for those who may need assistance.
“This is the worst that I’ve seen here in this county,” Baggett said of the damage.
Butts County Coroner Lacey Prue said that a passenger in a car in Jackson, Georgia, passed away when a tree fell on the vehicle. It seems that a freight train was derailed in the same county as a result of the storm, according to the authorities.
After trees fell on an apartment complex in Griffin, which is located south of Atlanta, local authorities confirmed to the local news sites that many individuals were still trapped within the building. A portion of the roof of a Hobby Lobby store in the city was damaged, while in another section of the city, firemen freed a man who had been stuck for many hours beneath a tree that had fallen on his home.
On Thursday, the National Weather Service received 33 individual reports of tornadoes throughout the United States. In addition, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi were all issued tornado warnings at one point or another.
The tornado that struck Selma carved a broad path through the downtown area, where it caused brick buildings to collapse, oak trees to be uprooted, vehicles to flip over, and electrical wires to be left hanging. According to Selma’s Mayor James Perkins, there have been no reports of deaths, but a number of individuals have sustained significant injuries