At least two people have been killed by a tornado that caused the
National Weather Service to declare tornado emergencies Sunday afternoon for parts of Alabama and Georgia as severe storms moved through the South. Tornadoes in Lee County, Alabama killed at least 23, a figure officials expect to rise.
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.”
⚠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
Damage to homes, buildings and trees has been reported across the area.
“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.
Breaking Video: Large tornado touches down near Smiths Station, Alabama. Reports of ‘catastrophic’ damage. pic.twitter.com/bXL4vBxRUq— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) March 3, 2019
The full scope of the damage is still unknown as severe weather persists across the region. One storm chaser team – Live Storm Media – was able to pick some of the damage on video just after the storm:
This was just one of several tornadoes that was reported across Alabama and Georgia on Sunday afternoon.
Over 35,000 are without power in Alabama and Georgia following the severe thunderstorms.
BREAKING: Photos show catastrophic damage in Beauregard, Alabama. Pictures are from the aftermath of two large tornadoes. Multiple fatalities reported. #Tornado #Alabama (photos from @BreakingNLive ) pic.twitter.com/7ZUTjwsSm1— Global News Network (@GlobalNews77) March 3, 2019
“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 and rely on electric heat need to find ways to say warm,” Pydynowski said.
A tornado emergency means that significant, widespread damage with a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected to continue with a strong and violent tornado.
I need prayers tornado just destroyed my house pic.twitter.com/7jbyNqMmmD— Evan (@zSmithii) March 3, 2019
Tornado emergencies are not issued often by the NWS and typically only used during significant severe weather events.