At least seven people were killed, several others injured and extensive damage reported as tornadoes and extreme weather swept through the southeastern United States on Thursday.
A series of tornadoes and storms have killed at least six people in central Alabama. In Georgia, a passenger inside was killed when a tree fell on a vehicle during a severe storm.
Several states remained under cyclone watch till Thursday evening. Nationwide, there were 33 separate tornado reports Thursday from the National Weather Service as of Thursday evening, though the reports have yet to be confirmed and some could be classified as wind damage in the coming days.
Some of the worst damage from what the National Weather Service described as a “larger and more dangerous tornado” hit historic downtown Selma, Alabama, and surrounding areas, where homes were destroyed and trees uprooted.
At least 18 people have died in floods and landslides that have so far caused $1 billion in damage as Californians endure a series of atmospheric river storms.
Before and after:Harrowing images capture the devastation of a series of storms in California
Tornado-damaged homes in Alabama, destroyed; Many people are trapped inside the apartment
Tornadoes and strong winds brought widespread damage across southern Jupiter.
Central Alabama saw homes with torn roofs and uprooted trees. About 40 homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornado that cut a 20-mile path in two rural communities in Autoka County, about 41 miles northeast of Selma, county emergency management director Ernie Baggett said.
Several mobile homes were blown up, injuring at least 12 people, Baggett told The Associated Press. In Selma, Alabama, a tornado tore a path through the downtown area, causing buildings to collapse, overturned cars, and downed power lines.
A storm in Georgia derailed a freight train in Butts County, about 53 miles southeast of Atlanta, officials said.
In Griffin, about 38 miles south of Atlanta, authorities said several people were trapped in apartments after falling trees. A high school and a shopping street were also damaged. A curfew was imposed in Griffin from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday.
A tree fell on a vehicle during a possible tornado in Jackson, Georgia, killing a person in the passenger seat, Butts County Coroner Lacey Brew said.
Elsewhere in the county, the force of the storm appeared to knock a freight train off its tracks, blocking intersections in the area. Butts County officials said three cars were derailed from the train.
Understand that we cannot move the train, the officials said.
Local officials posted photos and video of storm damage on social media. Deputy District Manager J. A video posted by Michael Brewer shows water pouring into a large warehouse owned by Master Brands Cabinet after the metal roof was torn off.
Schools in Butts County will be closed Friday.
Several tornadoes were reported across central Alabama Thursday, but A Authorities said the twister killed at least six people in Autauga County.
Confirmed tornadoes traveled through Dallas and Atoka counties causing damage.
Six unidentified people were killed in Autauga County, about 40 miles northeast of Selma, Autauga County Sheriff David Hill said. Hill said one of the victims was an adult male located in the Old Kingston area.
Authorities said many people were trapped in their homes after the typhoon and at least 12 others were unaccounted for. Rescue operations were carried out on Thursday.
More from Alabama:Death toll rises as tornado hits Selma’s Autoka County
Officials estimated 40 to 50 homes were damaged or destroyed by the storms, which cut a swath across the county, according to Autauga County emergency management director Ernie Baggett. He said at least 12 people were seriously injured and taken to hospitals by emergency responders. He said crews are focused on cutting downed trees to search for others who may be injured.
About 40 miles away in the historic town of Selma, the swirling, fast-moving storm system toppled walls, collapsed roofs and uprooted homes.
Across Selma, power lines and hundreds of trees were down. Former State Sen. Hank Saunders said after the storm damaged his home, his kitchen had “rain through the roof.”
Cars were on their side and traffic poles were scattered across the town. A thick, black plume of smoke rose over the city from the burning fire. It was not immediately known if the fire was caused by the storm. A few blocks past the city’s famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, an enduring symbol of the suffrage movement, buildings were toppled by the storm and trees blocked roads.
“It happened in about five seconds,” Caleb Morris said.
Morris lives behind the Selma Country Club, which lost its roof in the storm. He rode out the storm in his basement and was relieved there was no damage to his home.
The roof of the Selma Country Club collapsed during the tornado. At least one person is believed to be trapped in Selma County, but no deaths had been reported in Selma County as of Thursday evening.
Selma Mayor James Perkins imposed a city curfew as first responders surveyed the damage.
Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for six counties after the severe weather hit.
Several tornado warnings were issued Thursday for parts of Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.
By evening, parts of the Florida panhandle and parts of southeastern Alabama and Georgia were under a tornado watch until 9 p.m., the weather service said.
“A couple tornadoes” and winds of 65 mph are possible, the NWS said, along with large hail events up to 1 inch in diameter.
In Kentucky, the National Weather Service in Louisville confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in Mercer County and said crews were surveying damage in a few counties.
In Monroe County, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials said they were surveying some heavy damage after a possible tornado.
Another storm hit Griffin, south of Atlanta, Georgia, with wind damaging the shopping area, local news outlets reported. A Hobby Lobby store lost part of its roof, and at least one car overturned in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart.
More than 36,000 customers were without power in Alabama and more than 76,000 were in the dark in Georgia as of 9 p.m. ET Thursday, the tracker said. PowerOutage.us. Another 14,000 were without power in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Contributed by: Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY; Brad Harper, Alex Gladden, Marty Roney, Hadley Hitson, Evan Mealins, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser; Associated Press
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