At least four people were killed as tornadoes struck north Alabama in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, leveling houses and tossing mobile homes. Numerous injuries also were reported and rescue workers are still trying to get to some areas.
In Lawrence County, three people were killed before dawn as an apparent tornado struck Aldridge Grove, about 10 miles from Moulton. County coroner Micah Coffee identified them as 40-year-old Greg Coleman, his 49-year-old wife Becky, and their 19-year-old son, Garreck. Jackson County Coroner David Jordan said 60-year-old Linda Tinker was killed when a twister slammed into a house in the town of Pisgah. He said at least two people were injured In Walker County, an apparent twister damaged eight homes near the Corona community before dawn. A pregnant woman suffered a broken arm when a trailer home was tossed by the winds.
Trees and power lines also are reported down in Lamar and Fayette counties. WSFA 12 News confirmed at least 50 trees were knocked down when a tornado hit in a rural section of Coosa County as well.
NBC News is reporting at least 55 people have now been confirmed killed by tornadoes that have ripped across the South. Two dozen people are dead in Tennessee alone. Thirteen have been killed in Arkansas and seven in Kentucky.
WSFA 12 News sister station, WMC in Memphis is reporting that President Bush plans to visit Tennessee to examine the damage on Friday.
Governor Bob Riley spoke with President Bush after the storms came through saying," He assured me his administration stands ready to help Alabama if we need federal assistance," The Governor says state agencies are working closely with local officials and first responders to help the victims. Governor Riley says his, "thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this very difficult time."
The severe weather reeked havoc in other states as well. A couple and a child were killed after a tornado touched down near the center of Atkins, Arkansas. Governor Mike Beebe's office later said seven people were killed across the state, including in the communities of Clinton and Gassville.
The National Weather Service says at least six tornadoes touched down between Oxford, Mississippi and Jackson, Tennessee. A hospital official in Oxford says eleven people ranging in age from infants to senior citizens were being treated for injuries causes by a twister and are in stable condition. One storm tore a large part of a wall from a Memphis shopping mall. Police say a few people north of the mall took shelter under a bridge and were washed away. They were pulled to safety with only scrapes.
Later, the same system damaged a dormitory at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Eight students were trapped but were not seriously hurt.