At least five people reported dead as emergency rescue crews surveyed the rubble across Alabama for more casualties of the massive “supercell” storm wreaking havoc across the southeast.
While tornados first touched down across Alabama and Mississippi, about 50 million people remained under severe weather warnings as the storm moved northeast across Georgia and South Carolina.
A police officer was struck by lightning and more injuries are expected to emerge as 135mph winds destroyed homes and the National Weather Service issued warnings to “take cover now!”
Alabama Governor KayIvey earlier issued an emergency declaration for 46 counties as the storm approached, with shelters opened in advance of the wild weather approaching.
Atlanta meteorologist Brad Nitz tweeted around 4 pm that the storm was 22 miles from the Georgia state line and was moving at 50 mph.
The storm was described as a “supercell thunderstorm”, which can last for several hours and drop numerous violent tornados and large hail.
Five dead in Alabama as first responders search for more
At least five people have died as a result of the major storm in Alabama, according to reports.
The deaths were from Calhoun County, one of the hardest-hit areas in the state. Calhoun County Sherrif Matthew Wade told CNN at least five were dead, while search and rescue efforts were underway in Ohatchee.
The county’s emergency management agency spokeswoman Tiffany DeBoer told The New York Times that exact causes of deaths were not immediately available.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 22:34
Police officer struck by lightening during tornado storm
An Alabama police officer was rushed to hospital after being struck by lighting north of Birmingham.
Florence Police Department said in a tweet that other officers provided first aid immediately before being transported to hospital, where he was being monitored.
“He is conscious and responsive at this time,” they said.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 22:05
National Weather Service issues storm warning for South Carolina
While large hail is the primary threat, forecasters said isolated tornados could not be ruled out.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 21:35
Watch the wildest videos from the Tornados
Storm chasers followed tornados as they left a path of destruction across the south. Here are some of the most intense encounters so far.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 21:28
‘There are houses gone’: Multiple injuries reported and home destroyed in Alabama
Several trapped residents rescued from homes and first responders have been taken to hospital for multiple injuries, local news outlets report.
Homes were damaged as dozens of trees were sent flying in the Helena, Pelham and Eagle Point areas, according to AL.com.
Cahaba Valley fire captain Grant Wilkerson told the outlet that firefighters had to extricate people trapped in homes in Eagle Point.
Major Clay Hammac of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, said Eagle Point was the hardest hit in his side of the county.
“We are literally going house to house to check on everyone. There are some houses gone,” he said.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 21:10
Residents survey damage as tornados continue
As the supercell storm continues its path northeast, residents in the first hit areas near Birmingham, Alabama, are emerging to survey the damage.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 20:59
Tornado passes Cherokee County toward Forney
The National Weather Service says the supercell storm will soon move from Alabama into north Georgia as it continues to wreak havoc.
A tornado warning has been issued for Greene, Sumter, Bount and Jefferson counties.
Another warning has been issued for a second storm into the Cuba area from Mississippi, the weather service said.
“The atmosphere remains conducive to tornado development. STAY VIGILANT”.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 20:55
BREAKING: Tornado emergency declared in Alabama as violent storm hits state
A tornado emergency has been declared in Alabama as a violent storm hits the state. The National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed the storm on Twitter, writing that the tornado has a “history of producing damage”.
Storm tracker Brandon Copic spoke to The Weather Channel, saying: “It was a violent tornado flinging debris everywhere.”
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 20:48
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the tornado emergency developing among southern states.
Justin Vallejo25 March 2021 20:48