Up to eight deadly tornadoes tear through Alabama and leave homes ‘completely destroyed’

At least five people have died after a series of tornadoes tore through Alabama.

Officials believe that as many as eight twisters passed through the US state – leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

The only confirmed deaths were from Calhoun County – but the extreme weather struck other areas in the region.

At least five people have died in the tornadoes. Pic: Associated Press
Image:At least five people have died in the tornadoes. Pic: AP

At least 35,000 people have been left without power, and the number of injuries has yet to be confirmed.

The tornadoes formed from a “super-cell” of storms that also moved into the state of Georgia.

Bad weather also struck Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as North and South Carolina.

Ester Jarrell, 62, died after a tree fell on her mobile home in Mississippi.

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First lady Dr Jill Biden postponed a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, due to the storms.

She said on her Twitter account: “Thinking of everyone in Alabama and all of those impacted by the severe weather across the South tonight. My prayers are with the grieving families. Please stay safe.”

Pat Lindsey, who lives in Calhoun County, said that his neighbour was killed by one of the twisters.

Mr Lindsey said: “He was good as gold.”

At least 35,000 have been left without power. Pic: Associated Press
Image:At least 35,000 have been left without power. Pic: AP

County Sheriff Matthew Wade said: “Five people lost their lives and for those families, it will never be the same.

“Our hearts, thoughts and our prayers go to the families, and we are going to do our best to let them know we love them.”

“I’m very lucky to be alive,” 75-year-old James Dunaway said after his house lost its roof and sides while he was inside.

Cindy Smitherman, 62, her family and her neighbours were stuck in a storm pit after a tree fell across the entrance.

It took someone with a chainsaw to get them out.

Ms Smitherman said: “I’m just glad we’re alive. Praise the Lord.”

Houses were destroyed in the storms. Pic: Associated Press
Image:Houses were destroyed in the storms. Pic: AP

Other parts of the state have also seen homes “completely destroyed” by the twisters.

One radar record showed a tornado had covered a path of 100 miles – staying on the ground for around an hour and 20 minutes.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued an emergency declaration for 46 counties as the dangerous weather approached.

There were also flash floods in Alabama, as well as the tornadoes.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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