Fatalities, extreme damage reported following tornadoes in Alabama, Georgia Sunday
At least 14 fatalities and more injuries were reported after damaging tornadoes hit Lee County, Alabama on Sunday.
More tornadoes were reported across Alabama and Georgia Sunday afternoon amid a severe weather outbreak across the southeastern United States.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama, issued a tornado emergency at 2:09 p.m. CST Sunday due to the “confirmed large and destructive tornado.”
Damage to homes, buildings, and trees has been reported across the area. One storm chaser in the area tweeted that a cell phone tower in the area has fallen following the storms. According to NWS Birmingham, the damage was confirmed with a second tornado in Lee County, Alabama.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey extended the State of emergency issued on Feb. 23 to statewide due to today’s severe weather and tornadoes.
“In the areas hit by the devastating tornadoes, drier weather is expected to return for storm cleanup on Monday, but it will be cooler than normal with highs in the lower to middle 50s and temperatures plummeting down to near freezing at night. Highs in the middle 60s are more typical,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
The full scope of the damage is still unknown as severe weather persists across the region.
⚠TORNADO EMERGENCY for southern Lee & northern Russell Counties! Large & EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO ON THE GROUND near Dupree, moving East. PLEASE TAKE SHELTER NOW if you live between Dupree & Smiths Station!! #alwx pic.twitter.com/QbmyUNlogN
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) March 3, 2019
A tornado emergency means that significant, widespread damage with a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected to continue due to a strong and violent tornado. Tornado emergencies are not issued often by the NWS and typically only used during significant severe weather events.
Over 35,000 are without power in Alabama and Georgia following the severe thunderstorms.
“Colder air will sweep into the Southeast behind the severe weather with temperatures dropping into the 30s southward to central Georgia and across most of Alabama by Monday morning. Those without power who rely on electric heat need to find ways to say warm,” Pydynowski said.
Cairo, Georgia Mayor, Booker Gainor, said a tornado caused heavy damage just south of downtown in Cairo. There are reports of many damaged or destroyed homes and businesses.
— Jim Tang (@wxmann) March 3, 2019
— Scott Fillmer (@scottfillmer) March 3, 2019
— 41NBC / WMGT-DT (@41NBC) March 4, 2019
Parts of Eufaula, Alabama (Barbour County) are now unrecognizable after a strong tornado hit earlier today.
— Amanda Curran ☼ (@WSFA_Amanda) March 4, 2019
— Amy Cannon (@Almc12345) March 3, 2019