A massive tornado tore through eastern Alabama on Sunday, leaving at least 22 people dead — including children — and countless more missing amid the “catastrophic” damage, according to officials.
“I can say that at this time we have … confirmed fatalities,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL on Sunday evening as crews searched through the wreckage and debris.
“We’ve still got people being pulled out of rubble,” added Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, speaking to AL.com. “We’re going to be here all night.”
The tornado was one of at least a dozen twisters to touch down in the southeast on Sunday, with others wreaking havoc in Georgia and another area of Lee County. All of the fatalities were reported in Alabama.
The first to rip through the Lee County region was said to be at least an EF3 in strength — and a half-mile wide, according to the National Weather Service.
The second reportedly made landfall within the span of an hour.
“Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the storms that hit Lee County today,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a tweet. “Praying for their families & everyone whose homes or businesses were affected.”
President Trump also tweeted his condolences to the “great people of Alabama and surrounding areas” on Sunday night — saying, “Please be careful and safe. Tornadoes and storms were truly violent and more could be coming. To the families and friends of the victims, and to the injured, God bless you all!”
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