There are reports of at least five fatalities, injuries and devastating damage after at least seven tornadoes passed through Alabama yesterday afternoon.
The tornadoes were spawned as part of a “particularly dangerous” system of strong storms moving across the South.
On Thursday, reports on social media showed significant damage in many communities throughout the area.
Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings estimated Thursday night that hundreds of homes in Alabama were either damaged or completely destroyed. Many residents have become displaced from their homes due to the storm.
By 1 a.m. Thursday, more than 26,000 homes were reported without power in Alabama, according to PowerOutage.Us.
By Thursday afternoon, there were reports of people trapped in their homes. Authorities announced that search and rescue efforts would continue throughout the region, though hampered by downed live power lines and trees.
By midnight on Friday, the storm cleared Alabama and moved east towards Georgia, where it continued to cause damage.
Newnan, Georgia, was particularly shaken by the storm. 19,000 people — nearly half of its population of 40,000 — were left without power, according to Newnan Utilities. The company worked through the night to restore power to residents and combat multiple gas leaks.
After the storm, Newnan Police Department continued to urge residents to stay off the road due to a “large amount of damage” caused by fallen trees and downed powerlines. The department wrote, “By you being out driving and sightseeing, it is impeding our efforts to get to people who need help.”
This is the second time in eight days that both Georgia and Alabama have been threatened by tornadoes. Last week, nearly 50 tornadoes were also reported in Alabama and Mississippi.
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