At least 23 dead as tornadoes ravage Alabama

At least 23 dead as tornadoes ravage Alabama

ALABAMA- The Associated Press
At least 23 dead as tornadoes ravage Alabama

“Unfortunately our toll, as far as fatalities, does stand at 23 at the current time,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told a local TV of the death toll. He added that two people were in intensive care.

Drones flying overheard equipped with heat-seeking devices had scanned the area for survivors but the dangerous conditions halted the search late on March 3, Jones said. “The devastation is incredible,” he said.

Jones said the twister traveled straight down a county road in the rural community of Beauregard and that the path of damage and destruction appeared at least a half mile wide. He said single-family homes and mobile homes were destroyed, adding some homes were reduced to slabs. He had told reporters earlier that several people were taken to hospitals, some with “very serious injuries.”

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado with at least an F3 rating and a track at least 0.8 kilometers wide caused the deadly destruction in Alabama. Although the statement did not give exact wind estimates, F3 storms typically are gauged at wind speeds of between 254-331 kilometers per hour.

Dozens of emergency responders rushed to join search and rescue efforts in hard-hit Lee County after what forecasters said they think was a large tornado touched down, unleashed by a powerful storm system that also slashed its way across parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.