Alabama Reports Tornado Deaths

Two young children are found on a Selma rooftop after twister passes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2023 7:05 PM CST
Alabama Reports Tornado Deaths
A damaged vehicle and debris are seen in the aftermath of severe weather Thursday in Selma, Ala.   (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

A giant, swirling storm system billowing across the South spurred a tornado on Thursday that killed at least six people in central Alabama. Details about the fatalities were not immediately available. The storm shredded the walls of homes, toppled roofs, and uprooted trees in Selma. Brick buildings collapsed, cars were on their side, and traffic poles were strewn about in the downtown area. Plumes of thick, black smoke rose over the city from a fire burning, the AP reports. It was not immediately known whether the storm caused the blaze. A few blocks past the city's famed Edmund Pettus Bridge, an enduring symbol of the voting rights movement, buildings were crumpled by the storm and trees blocked roadways.

Selma Mayor James Perkins said: "We have a lot of downed power lines. There is a lot of danger on the streets." A city curfew is being put into place, the mayor added. The "large and extremely dangerous tornado" caused damage as it moved through the historic city, the National Weather Service said. There were confirmed reports of tree and structural damage in Selma and reports of damage in other counties, the agency said. Nationwide, there were 33 separate tornado reports for the day from the National Weather Service as of Thursday evening, with a handful of tornado warnings still in effect in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. However, the reports were not yet confirmed, and some could later be classified as wind damage.

In Alabama, there is damage "all over Selma," former state Sen. Hank Sanders said he has been told. "A tornado has definitely damaged Selma. In fact, it hit our house, but not head-on. It blew out windows in the bedroom and in the living room. It is raining through the roof in the kitchen," Sanders said. After the tornado passed, Krishun Moore emerged from her home to the sound of children crying and screaming. She and her mother encouraged the kids to keep screaming until they found the two of them on top of the roof of a damaged apartment. She estimated the children were about 1 and 4 years old. Both of them are OK, she said through Facebook messenger.

(More Alabama stories.)

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