7 Dead in Alabama as Tornadoes, Storms Ravage US South

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Crews worked through the night searching for people trapped after a deadly storm system spawned tornadoes across parts of the U.S. South, killing at least seven people and causing substantial damage in the historic city of Selma, Alabama. Six died in Autauga County, Alabama, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Selma, where a tornado cut a 20-mile (32-kilometer) long path across two rural communities, wrecking dozens of homes, said Ernie Baggett, the county’s emergency management director. At least 12 people were injured severely enough to be taken to hospitals by emergency responders, Baggett told The Associated Press. He said crews were cutting through downed trees Thursday night to look for more people needing help. He said about 40 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged, including several mobile homes that were launched into the air. “They weren’t just blown over. They were blown a distance.” A more comprehensive picture of the damage would emerge Friday as they search for more victims, authorities said. The National Weather Service said late Thursday that suspected tornado damage was reported in at least 14 Alabama counties and five Georgia counties. Early Friday, tens of thousands of customers remained without power across the two states. In Selma, a city etched in the history of the civil rights movement, the city council met on a sidewalk using lights from cellphones to declare a state of emergency. In Georgia, a passenger died when a tree fell on a vehicle in Jackson, Butts County Coroner Lacey Prue said. In the same county southeast of Atlanta, the storm appeared to have knocked a freight train off its tracks, officials said. Officials in Griffin, south of Atlanta, told local news outlets that multiple people had been trapped inside an apartment complex after trees fell on it. A Hobby Lobby store lost part of its roof, and firefighters cut loose a man who had been pinned for hours under a tree that fell on his house. The city imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. Nationwide, the weather service issued more than 40 separate tornado reports on Thursday, and Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina all had tornado warnings for a time. The tornado reports were not yet confirmed and some could be classified as wind damage once assessments are done. The tornado that hit Selma cut a wide path through the downtown area, where brick buildings collapsed, oak trees were uprooted, cars were on their side and power lines were left dangling. Plumes of thick, black smoke from a fire rose over the city; whether the storm caused the blaze wasn't immediately known. Selma Mayor James Perkins said no fatalities have been reported, but several people were seriously injured. Officials hoped to get an aerial view of the city Friday morning. “We have a lot of downed power lines," he said. "There is a lot of danger on the streets.” Mattie Moore was among Selma residents who picked up boxed meals offered by a charity downtown. “Thank God that we’re here. It’s like something you see on TV,” Moore said of the destruction. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm Subscribe to our newest channel Quicktake Explained: https://bit.ly/3iERrup Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/qt/live, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Have a story to tell? Fill out this survey for a chance to have it featured on Bloomberg Quicktake: https://cor.us/surveys/27AF30 Connect with us on… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bloomberg Breaking News on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BloombergQuickTakeNews Twitter: https://twitter.com/quicktake Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quicktake Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quicktake
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