Authorities say that severe weather in the South caused a tornado that hit Alabama on Thursday. The tornado caused a lot of damage in Selma and at least six deaths in Autauga County.
The National Weather Service confirmed that Selma, which has a long history with the civil rights movement, had a lot of damage. The Associated Press says that walls were torn down, roofs were ripped off, and trees were pulled out of the ground in the city.
The interim sheriff of Autauga County, David Hill, told WFSA-TV that six people had died in the county. Hill also said that there could be more deaths, according to the TV station.
“We have multiple deaths and still searching for bodies,” Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber told CNN. The National Weather Service in Birmingham says that damage has been “confirmed” in Selma.
A tornado struck New Iberia, Louisiana, on Wednesday, briefly trapping people in their homes, police say.
Tornado touches down in Louisiana, as Alabama and Mississippi are also under watch
A police spokesperson for New Iberia police said there are no reports of deaths after a … pic.twitter.com/nq32FxIoGT
— Katie Jenkins (@KatieJe94828983) January 13, 2023
“Please stay out of the area to let first responders navigate the roads,” the weather service tweeted. WSFA says that the tornado hit the Dallas County Jail. A TV station said that the sheriff’s association is working to help get prisoners moved to facilities in other counties.
“Selma has received significant damage from the tornado. Citizens please refrain from traveling the roadways and stay away from down power lines,” Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said.
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“City crews will be out as soon as practical to clean up. In the meantime, stay safe and continue to report your damages through 911. #wearetogether.”
Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama declared a state of emergency in Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, and Tallapoosa counties. Perkins told the AP that people have been hurt, but no one has died. “We have a lot of downed power lines. There is a lot of danger on the streets.”
Perkins said the city will have a curfew on Thursday night. The mayor said that it will last until Friday morning. “If you don’t need to go out, don’t go out,” Perkins said.
LATEST: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday evening there are six deaths in the state following the severe weather. https://t.co/GqrR7YjAlK
— WISH-TV (@WISH_TV) January 13, 2023
Deborah A. Brown put a video of damage to Selma street on her Facebook page. You can hear a woman talking about the event. She said that when the tornado hit, she was at a tax office.
“We could’ve been gone, y’all,” the woman said in the video. “We had to run for cover. We had to go run and jump in the closet.”
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