13 tornadoes touch down in US South leaving at least five dead
Tornadoes that dropped out of the night sky killed five people in two states and injured at least a dozen more early Wednesday, adding to a seemingly biblical onslaught of drought, flood and fire plaguing the South.
The storms tore through just as firefighters began to get control of wildfires that killed seven and damaged or wiped out more than 700 homes and businesses around the resort town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In Alabama, the weather system dumped more than 2 inches of rain in areas that had been parched by months of choking drought.
At least 13 confirmed twisters damaged homes, splintered barns and toppled trees in parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, the National Weather Service said. Tombstones were even knocked over in the cemetery behind the badly damaged Rosalie Baptist Church, near where three people died in northeastern Alabama.
The National Weather Service was assessing damage from multiple possible tornadoes across the region. At least five hit Alabama, and three more struck southern Tennessee, and one confirmed in Louisiana and at least 4 in Mississippi, forecasters said.
A possible tornado was spotted on the ground Wednesday a few miles from Atlanta, and flights were briefly delayed at the city’s main airport, but no major damage occurred.
Three people were killed and one person critically injured in a mobile home after an apparent twister hit tiny Rosalie, about 115 miles northeast of Birmingham, said Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen.
A suspected tornado was responsible for the death of a husband and wife in southern Tennessee’s Polk County, while an unknown number of others were injured, said Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener. No details were immediately available.
Labels: Natural Disasters