Deadly tornadoes hit Alabama, leaving a path of destruction

More than 30 million Americans across the South faced the severe weather threat after multiple deadly tornadoes struck the region on Thursday. They sent sparks and debris across northeast Alabama.

A large tornado struck Coweta County in the Atlanta metro area around midnight Friday, triggering a tornado emergency in the city of Newnan and surrounding areas. No deaths were reported.

At least five people were killed in storms Thursday in Calhoun County, Alabama, northeast of Birmingham. There were also reports of people trapped in razed houses.

Much of Alabama was in a state of emergency when a large tornado left a trail of destruction over a 50-mile-long area from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham early Thursday. Tornado and flash flood alerts have been posted in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

Strong winds uprooted trees and sent them crashing against rooftops. Some of the worst damage occurred in the Eagle Point subdivision in Shelby County, Alabama. Ripped roofs revealed the interior of the rooms, and drone footage showed homeowners looking through debris.

Severe weather South
The remains of a home destroyed by a tornado south of Birmingham, Alabama, on March 25, 2021.

Butch Dill / AP

“It was terrifying,” owner Carol Willis said. “The noise was incredible.”

Willis’s garage was damaged, but his home was saved for the most part. She described the terrifying moments that the tornado swept through her community.

“I was standing at the window of this room, I looked out and it started to get dark. I said, well, I better get out of this room. I had a metal garbage can. I said, well, let me run to my utility room. I put the trash can over my head, I went in there, I didn’t stay more than two minutes. I went out and saw all this. I couldn’t believe it, it went so fast, “he said.

The town of Pelham was also hit hard. Just 20 miles south of Birmingham, at least 14,000 people in the area are without power.

Tracking the dangerous tornado outbreak


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