Deadly Lee County Alabama Tornado
The National Weather Service in Birmingham has confirmed that Sunday’s tornado was an EF-4 with winds up to 170 mph. The tornado was approximately 1600 yards wide and was on the ground for 26.73 miles.
Multiple severe thunderstorms tore through parts of the South yesterday. One storm produced a deadly tornado in Lee County, Alabama that left at least 23 people dead.
Dozens of people were injured, some severely. The Lee County Coroner says that ages of the dead ranged from under 10 into the 70s. The death toll is expected to rise as search and rescue operations continue today. The Lee County Sheriff says that searchers will be aided by heat sensing drones and search dogs.
This marks the deadliest tornado outbreak since May 20, 2013 when 24 people were killed in Oklahoma. This is a devastating start to the year’s severe weather season as last year marked the fewest Americans killed by tornadoes since records began in 1875.
The preliminary findings from the National Weather Service indicate that this tornado was at least EF-3 strength with winds up to 165 mph. The tornado is believed to have been at least half a mile wide. The NWS will conduct a storm survey today to confirm the strength of the tornado.
Large tornado Sunday afternoon in Lee County, Alabama. Fatalities were reported. Video fromSevereStudios Live Storm Chasers pic.twitter.com/6pw8h6qXAt
— SevereStudios (@severestudios) March 3, 2019
A tornado warning had been issued for Lee County approximately 20 minutes before the tornado hit the Beauregard area and a tornado watch was issued for the general southeast Alabama area about an hour and half before the deadly tornado struck.