Authorities say severe weather in the South sparked a tornado that hit Alabama on Thursday. The tornado caused extensive damage in Selma and at least six deaths in Autauga County.
The National Weather Service confirmed that Selma, who has a long history with the civil rights movement, suffered extensive damage. The Associated Press says walls were torn down, roofs ripped off and trees pulled up from the ground in the city.
Autauga County interim sheriff David Hill said so WFSA TV that six people in the province had died. Hill also said there could be more deaths, according to the TV channel.
“We have several deaths and are still searching for bodies,” Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber told CNN. The National Weather Service in Birmingham says damage has been “confirmed” in Selma.
A tornado hit New Iberia, Louisiana, on Wednesday, briefly trapping people in their homes, police say.
Tornado touches down in Louisiana, while Alabama and Mississippi are also under scrutiny
A police spokesman for the New Iberia Police Department said there were no reports of deaths following 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 the tornado hit the Dallas County Jail. A TV station said the sheriff’s association is working to move inmates to facilities in other counties.
“Selma sustained significant damage from the tornado. Citizens please refrain from traveling on the roads and stay away from power lines,” Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr.
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“City teams will be out as soon as possible to clean up. In the meantime, stay safe and keep reporting your damage to 911. #wearetogether.”
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency in Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore and Tallapoosa counties. Perkins told the AP people were injured, but no one died. “We have a lot of broken power lines. There is a lot of danger on the street.”
Perkins said the city will have a curfew on Thursday night. The mayor said it will take until Friday morning. “If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out” said Perkins.
LATEST: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said Thursday night that six people have died in the state as a result of the severe weather. https://t.co/GqrR7YjAlK
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Deborah A. Brown posted a video of damage to Selma Street on her Facebook page. You hear a woman talking about the event. She said she was at a tax office when the tornado hit.
“We could have been gone, y’all,” said the woman in the video. “We had to take cover. We had to run and jump in the closet.
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