Searches find no more deaths in Alabama; toll stands at 23

Mar 09, 2019, 00:43
Searches find no more deaths in Alabama; toll stands at 23

"It's a tragic situation but a lot of work is getting done" in tackling the storm damage, he said Tuesday at the White House.

Ivey is scheduled to inspect the tornado damage today, with Trump slated to visit on Friday.

Beauregard resident Douglas Griffin told ABC News that had he been home when the tornado struck, he believes he would be dead.

"We've got piles of rubble that we are searching just to make sure", Opelika Fire Chief Byron Prather Jr. said.

A cousin who was in the same house as those killed sustained injuries and is now hospitalized, Griffin said. He also planned to thank first responders. "People were better because they were with her and now our school feels empty without her".

"I'm confident that all the funeral costs will be covered and will not be a burden on them", Harris told reporters.

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Twelve tornadoes struck the state and about 30 tornadoes hammered the Southeast that day, said Chris Darden of the National Weather Service office in Birmingham.

There had been fears that the toll might rise by as many as seven or eight people - but in a midday briefing, Jones said, "I'm very pleased to announce. we are now confident we have accounted for all of the individuals".

The youngest victim was Armando Hernandez, 6, family member Sara Crisp said. "We're basically using everything we can get our hands on", the sheriff said. Waldrop said her 11-year-old sister Kayla was the only person inside who lived.

Four other patients remain hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center, according to hospital spokesman John Atkinson.

Air Force One arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia, at 10:43 a.m. CT, and President Trump and the first lady exited the plane, waved to the crowd and boarded Marine One, on his way to Lee County.

"He had them squeezed tight, and he said when it came through, it just took them", Crisp said. All of the tornado deaths were in Alabama, though several people in Georgia were injured.

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Alina Smith and her two children took cover in the bathroom moments before the EF- 4 tornado with 170 mile per hour winds tore through her neighborhood.

"I am grateful to President Trump and the Alabama delegation efforts to expedite the major disaster declaration".

Tornadoes are measured on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is abbreviated to EF when labeling storms.

Cindy Sanford, second from right, sifts through the debris with help from her family while retrieving personal items after a tornado destroyed Sanford's home in Beauregard, Ala., March 5, 2019.

Trump, whose response to the 2017 hurricane in Puerto Rico was widely panned, drew criticism earlier this week for seemingly playing politics with disaster aid by tweeting that "FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated".

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