Trump to visit Alabama areas devastated by weekend tornadoes

Arturo Kim
March 9, 2019

"There are slabs where homes formerly stood, debris everywhere, trees are snapped", Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told a morning news conference. A third tornado, classified as at least an EF1, traveled from Macon County into Lee County. "Susan and I grieve for the families who've lost loved ones, especially children." . They left a trail of destruction in their path.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey toured tornado damage in rural Lee County, where 23 people perished over the weekend. The youngest fatality was age 6 and the oldest was age 89.

For some, the pain of loss is being feltmany times over.

"The challenge is the sheer volume of the debris where all the homes were located", he told CNN.

"I pray to God that they find her", Sanford said as picked through remains of her home, which tumbled in the wind and is now scattered across neighbors' land.

Trump had said earlier this week that the country was "sending our love and prayers to the incredible people of Alabama" and that "whatever we can do, we're doing".

In another family, Makitha Griffin lost five of her family members to the tornadoes. Two houses down, 63-year-old Raymond Robinson Jr. and his wife Tresia were killed when the tornado leveled their home.

At the relief center at Providence Baptist Church, Trump thanked law enforcement officials and other first responders, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversees FEMA. "He signed his bible", she said.

Taylor is one of three children killed in this storm that claimed 23 lives total. "We gotta help our families". "I told them, y'all don't worry about that (the cost), I have it covered", the coroner said. "People were better because they were with her and now our school feels empty without her".

Cousins Johnathan Marquez Bowen, 9, and Mykala Waldon, 8, were also killed in the tornado. "I wanted to come the day it happened". "He helped with CPR and transport", cried Hart.

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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 tornado struck the area on Sunday shortly after 2 p.m. CST.

Six adult patients remain hospitalized at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, spokeswoman Holly Gainer confirmed to CNN. Winds reached highs of roughly 175 miles per hour.

Then on Tuesday night, they got an unexpected surprise.

"We're here for the citizens". Around 3:20 p.m., the NWS issued a tornado emergency after another large tornado was confirmed in Smith Station of Lee County, which flattened several homes.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he planned to visit the region on Friday.

'It's been a tragic situation, ' Trump said at a White House event on Tuesday.

The president is now on the ground in Beauregard, Alabama, meeting with families effected by the tornado.

Tornadoes are measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale from 0 to 5 based on intensity and damage caused. She was still at her friend's home in Beauregard when the tornado hit.

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