A powerful storm system swept through Alabama on Thursday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. A large tornado hit the city of Selma, causing significant damage to homes and uprooting trees. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham issued a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” warning, describing the situation as “life-threatening” and urging residents to take shelter immediately.
According to Selma Mayor James Perkins’ office, the city received “significant damage from the tornado”. The NWS also issued a tornado emergency for several counties just north of the state capital, Montgomery, as the storm system moved eastwards. Confirmed reports of tree and structural damage have been received in Selma, and there are reports of damage in other counties as well.
Former state senator, Hank Sanders, reported that there is damage “all over Selma”. He said, “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.”
Mayor Perkins informed local media that at least one person is believed to be trapped in a building on Broad Street, and one other person is missing. Multiple powerlines have been downed, and the situation is considered an emergency.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, expressed her condolences to the Selma community, saying “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Selma community.” Tornado warnings were also issued in neighboring states of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee as the storm system moved through the region.
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In Kentucky, the NWS confirmed that an EF-1 tornado struck Mercer County and crews were surveying damage in several other counties. There were reports of downed trees, power outages and other scattered damage from the storms that moved through the state. The storm caused a lot of damage in the region and left many people affected, the authorities are urging people to stay safe, follow the instruction of the emergency services and to be prepared for the worst.