At least eight people are dead– including a 5-year-old boy– after tornadoes ripped through parts of the southeast US on Thursday.
The five-year-old boy was killed when a tree fell on a vehicle in Butts County, central Georgia, FOX5 Atlanta’s Eric Perry reported Thursday night. The adult in the car was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
The child is thus far the only confirmed victim of the violent storm system in Georgia, where a freight train also appeared to have been knocked off its tracks by the winds.
The remaining seven fatalities occurred in Autauga County in central Alabama.
On Friday morning, the National Weather Service was sending teams to assess damage in at least 14 counties, AL.com reported.
The bulk of the devastation is from what the NWS described as the “large and extremely dangerous tornado” that tore through Selma, a historic city of 18,000 residents in Dallas County.
A video of the city’s downtown shared by reporter Blayne Alexander shows several structures left without roofs, while others appear to be almost completely decimated.
Meanwhile, aerial footage of a residential neighborhood captured what appeared to be a house that was uprooted by the wind before landing squarely on top of another home.
It is unclear how many people were injured in Selma and the surrounding areas.
“People have been injured, but no fatalities,” Selma Mayor James Perkins said Thursday.
“We have a lot of downed power lines. There is a lot of danger on the streets.”
Ernie Baggett, Autauga County’s emergency management director, said that he saw at least 40 homes destroyed in the aftermath of the storm.
“They weren’t just blown over. They were blown a distance,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Griffin, south of Atlanta, about 20 mourners at Peterson’s Funeral Home were forced to take cover in a restroom and an office when the twister touched down nearby.
“When we came out, we were in total shock,” Sha-Meeka Peterson-Smith, the funeral home’s chief operational officer, said of the damage. An uprooted tree crashed through the front of the building, destroying a viewing room, the front office, and the lounge.
“We heard everything, but didn’t know how bad it actually was.”
The terrifying tornadoes are just the latest in an ongoing spate of severe weather across the US, as parts of California continue to battle severe flooding and heavy rains.
Among the fatalities in the Golden State is a 5-year-old boy, Kyle Doan, who was swept away by flood waters after telling his mother to “be calm.”
“Yesterday I got to the point where I think I ran out of tears,” his mother Lindsy Doan said this week.
With Post wires