Alabama and Georgia dig out from tornadoes that left at least 6 dead

Debris is scattered across a neighborhood in Newnan, Georgia, on Friday, March 26, 2021, after a tornado that swept through the area. (Photo: NYTimes)
NASHVILLE, Tennessee— Residents of Georgia and Alabama began cleaning up the wreckage after powerful tornadoes ripped through the two states during the night, killing at least six people, downing power lines and trees and shredding residential neighborhoods.اضافة اعلان

In Georgia, some of the worst destruction hit Newnan, a city of roughly 35,000 people about 64km southwest of Atlanta. Officials in Coweta County reported one fatality in the area.

The weather service’s Storm Prediction Center recorded 24 preliminary tornado reports across Alabama and Georgia, as the region was bombarded by hail and heavy rainfall.

“I want to express my deep sympathy and regrets to each and every person that had property losses during the night, those that were injured,” said Sheriff Lenn Wood of Coweta County.

In Alabama, at least five people were killed as homes and businesses were leveled. The National Weather Service reported several tornadoes hitting Alabama, including one that traveled more than 161km, from near Birmingham to the northeast corner of the state.

In Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, authorities were working, clearing roads made impassable by downed trees and utility lines and searching through the wreckage of homes to find anyone who might have been injured or killed.

The five deaths in Alabama were reported in Calhoun County, between Birmingham and the Georgia state line, where crews were performing search-and-rescue operations, officials said.

The victims included a family of three that lived in a wooden home in Ohatchee, a man in a mobile home in the same town and a woman in a mobile home in Wellington, the Calhoun County coroner, Pat Brown, said.

In Ohatchee, utility crews worked to clear downed power lines where the path of the tornado felled the roof of a large commercial building at the Ohatchee Industrial Park. Nearby, a small mobile home lay on its roof.

In Florence, Alabama, a police officer was struck by lightning at the height of the afternoon storm, said Chief Mike Holt of the city’s police force. The officer suffered burns but survived.