Tornadoes rip through Southern US, ‘signficant damages’ reported in Selma

Tornadoes rip through Southern US, 'signficant damages' reported in Selma

A powerful tornado devastated parts of Alabama on Thursday afternoon as a violent storm system moved through the Southern US.

A powerful twister touched down in Selma, Alabama, Thursday afternoon causing “significant damages” to the historic city, the mayor confirmed.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham said the “large and extremely dangerous tornado” ripped through Selma, a city of about 18,000, around 12:19 p.m. central time.

The weather service also issued a tornado emergency for several counties just north of the capital city of Montgomery as the violent storm system moved eastward and then into Georgia.

City streets remained closed due to downed power lines hours later. Selma schools reported that all students who were at school were not injured, however, warned against parents going to pick up their children.

A damaged home is seen in the aftermath of severe weather, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, near Prattville, Ala.
A home was destroyed near Prattville, Alabama, after Thursday’s severe weather.
Downed trees around a "welcome to Selma" sign
Downed trees, powerlines and damaged homes were reported in Selma.

Selma Mayor James Perkins told WSFA that at least one person is believed trapped in a building and possibly one other person is missing. 

NWS Birmingham said it has “received a lot of devastating reports of damage,” across the area and warned there “will be many long days ahead,” as the extent of the damage is assessed and documented.

In one chilling video from Selma posted on social media in the wake of the storm, a person can be heard yelling, “I hear a baby crying” as they assess the damage outside of their home. 

The woman who took the video, Krishun Moore, told CNN her house was “tore up,” but said nobody was hurt. Moore said she and her mother took shelter in their bathroom as their house shook.

A damaged vehicle rests on its side in front of a home, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, in Selma, Ala
A car was flipped over on its side outside of a home in Selma.
Memorial Stadium and debris are seen in the aftermath of severe weather, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, in Selma, Ala.
Selma’s iconic Memorial Stadium also suffered damages.

Former state Sen. Hank Sanders said he has been told there is damage “all over Selma.”

“A tornado has definitely damaged Selma. In fact, it hit our house, but not head-on. It blew out windows in the bedroom and in the living room. It is raining through the roof in the kitchen,” Sanders told the Associated Press.

At the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday addressed weather across the south, saying, “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Selma community.”

No injuries or deaths have been reported at this time.

Across the border in northern Georgia, a tornado reportedly touched down near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, according to Atlanta News First.

Tornado warnings forced metro Atlanta schools to close early and cancel after-school activities.

Multiple tornado warnings were issued Thursday in Alabama, Georgia Mississippi and Tennessee as the storm system moved through the region.

In Kentucky, the National Weather Service in Louisville confirmed that a tornado struck Mercer County and said crews were surveying damage in a number of other counties. Downed trees, power outages and other scattered damages were reported in the state.

With Post wires

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