The National Weather Service (NWS) survey teams are looking into over 85 areas across Alabama where storm damage was reported after a tornado outbreak Wednesday. At least nine people were killed across the South when the storm system ripped through central Alabama and Georgia. Seven of those killed were in Autauga County and two, including a five-year-old child, were in Georgia. Twelve others were reported injured.
Lawmakers from Alabama responded and offered condolences.
"I am sad to have learned that six Alabamians were lost to the storms that ravaged across our state," Gov. Kay Ivey said on Twitter. "My prayers are with their loved ones and communities. We are far too familiar with devastating weather, but our people are resilient. We will get through it and be stronger for it."
Ivey declared a state of emergency in several counties to activate the state's response.
U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) said her office has been in contact with the governor's office.
“Our hearts break seeing multiple Alabama communities devastated by severe weather today,” said Britt. “I know that Alabamians in every corner of our state join us in praying for the families of those we’ve lost and for speedy recoveries to those who have been injured. Thank you to the first responders and linemen who are courageously serving their fellow Alabamians. My office is in contact with the Governor’s office and local officials in affected communities, and we stand ready to assist. Please continue to follow local alerts and warnings in affected areas.”
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) took to Twitter to offer thanks to those who responded to the destruction left behind from the storms.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by today’s tornado in Selma, and to those who are still sheltering in place waiting out the storms," he tweeted. "Thanks to the heroic first responders who are braving adverse conditions on the ground to help victims."
Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) also released a statement offering his "deepest sympathies."
"The weather system that swept across our state today left behind unthinkable damage and loss of life," Ledbetter stated. "My deepest sympathies go out to those suffering in the wake of this storm. I’m continuing to reach out to our representatives in affected areas to make sure they’re safe and see where they need help. Days like today remind us how precious life is and how dangerous these storms can be.”
Ledbetter planned to visit Autauga and Dallas Counties, where much of the damage was reported, over the weekend.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said his office is working to provide assistance for those in need.
"Whenever Alabamians suffer tragedy and find themselves in times of need, their neighbors and communities are quick to respond and embrace them," said Ainsworth. "It’s what makes our state special. My office and I are working to provide all available help to those affected by today’s tornados, and we stand ready to do whatever is necessary. I ask that you join me in lifting up those who suffered losses with our prayers of consolation."
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) offered a Bible verse
"Psalm 107:28 'Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress," he said on Twitter. "My prayers are with those who suffered loss during yesterday’s storms."
The NWS expects to wrap up its survey and determine the strength, size and track of the tornados in the coming days. Other areas they will survey include Tuscaloosa, Perry, Bibb, Elmore, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chambers and Barbour Counties.
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