Last Saturday morning, a massive tornado carved a 22-mile path in Southern Alabama and injured around 20 people. As per the National Weather Service, the tornado struck as Tropical Storm Claudette passed over that area.
As per the reports, Escambia County fell victim to more damage due to this tornado, and it continued in some parts of Conecuh County. Initially, there were only 3 injuries reported in Escambia County, but then later, NWS gathered all the data and conducted a survey that showed that there were around 20 people injured due to the tornado. Two of the injuries were a little severe, but the rest were minor as per the citing of Escambia County Emergency Management.
Officials further said that this tornado was at an estimated peak of 127 mph, and it was 650 yards wide at this point. It didn’t just injure people; it also destroyed the nearby buildings, offices, and homes of several people.
Tornadoes are pretty common in Southern Alabama specifically. Alabama’s annual number of tornadoes is 44. Studies show how Alabama has some of the deadliest tornadoes.
Shortly after the tornado on Saturday, there were reports of rescue operations and entrapments. By afternoon, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency provided assistance to the other rescue operation team. As per ALEA, U.S. 29 in East Brewton is currently closed due to the downed power lines. Due to the tropical system and spin-up nature, The National Weather Service in Birmingham has warned of upcoming possible tornadoes.
NWS Birmingham said, “BE AWARE: Tornadoes within tropical systems spin up quickly, so you may get little notice before a touchdown occurs.” They further added, “Although most are brief/rather weak, they can still be deadly. Please get to your safe place immediately if a warning is issued for your area!”
Earlier that morning, another tornado was confirmed nearby, 42 miles south of Brewton in Pace, Fla. By 4pm, Claudette got weak to a tropical depression with winds somewhere near 35 mph. Through Sunday night, the storm moved farther inland across different portions of the Southeast. The National Hurricane Center said that the system will continue to lift northeast through the weekend. Moreover, heavy rainfall is expected across central Alabama that will result in rainfall totals of six to three inches along with isolated maximum heights of 8 inches.
A tornado watch is still in effect till 7 pm in the following Alabama counties; Lee, Lowndes, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Pike, Russell, Bullock, Dale, Coffee, Barbour, and Montgomery.
As of now, double red flags are flying in Orange Beach, which means that all the Gulf waters are going to be closed for the public due to life-threatening conditions. For now, people and rescue teams are still working on their operation of helping people recover from all the tornado damage. People are being rescued; though no one was killed during the storm, the tornado still damaged a lot of buildings and trees.