Tornadoes tear across South, leaving trail of destruction

A line of severe storms tore across the Deep South on Tuesday, spawning more than two dozen tornadoes that left a trail of destruction from Louisiana to Georgia.

Two deaths were reported in Alabama as search and rescue crews continued to survey the damage from the storm system, which forecasters predicted would move through the Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, at least 36 tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, though not all were confirmed.

In Flatwood, Ala., two people died when their home was struck by a tree during a tornado, the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency said.

A damaged mobile home where two people died, with fallen trees all around.
A damaged mobile home where two people died is seen in Flatwood, Ala., on Wednesday. (Butch Dill/AP) (AP)

In Caldwell Parish, La., two other people were injured as a storm tore apart homes there.

In Eutaw, Ala., a suspected tornado ripped the roof off an apartment complex, displacing 15 families in the middle of the night.

“We’ve got power lines, trees just all over the road,” Eutaw Police Chief Tommy Johnson told WBRC-TV late Tuesday. “In the morning when we get a little daylight, we’re going to do a door-by-door search to make sure no one is trapped inside or anything like that.”

Numerous mobile homes were destroyed in Alabama’s Hale County.

Two people walking near a line of caution tape survey damage to a house caused by a tornado.
Friends and family survey damage to a house from a tornado on Wednesday in Flatwood. (Butch Dill/AP) (AP)

“I have seen some really nice mobile homes tied down,” Hale County Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Weeden said. “But they just don’t stand a chance against a tornado.”

In Caledonia, Miss., a confirmed tornado shredded a fire station and trapped people inside a grocery store, but Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Cindy Lawrence told WTVA-TV that everyone escaped injury.

The storms left more than 50,000 customers in Mississippi and Alabama without electricity Wednesday morning, according to, a website that tracks utility outages.

Two people walk along a road next to a pile of debris left after a tornado.
Debris in the wake of the tornado in Flatwood on Wednesday. (Butch Dill/AP) (AP)

Threats of severe weather remained Wednesday morning. A tornado watch was in effect for parts of southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and extreme southwestern Georgia until 11 a.m. CT.