LEE COUNTY, AL — An Alabama sheriff says at least 14 people are dead amid “catastrophic” damage from a possible tornado and more people are missing as crews search through wreckage and debris.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL-TV on Sunday that damage in his community followed a path several miles (kilometers) long and appeared up to a fourth of a mile (.4 kilometers) wide.
Jones said: “I can say that at this time we have 14 confirmed fatalities. And again, the search continues. We still have some people that are reported missing.”
He adds that several people have been taken to hospitals, “some of them with very serious injuries.”
An Alabama coroner says he expects the number of deaths from a possible tornado to rise as search crews comb through rubble and debris.
Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told Al.com on Sunday evening that two people are confirmed dead in Beauregard, Alabama, but he expects more bodies to be found.
Harris says: “We’ve still got people being pulled out of rubble. We’re going to be here all night.”
Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokesman Gregory Robinson says no deaths have been reported in the state beyond Lee County, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east of Montgomery. But Robinson says teams are still assessing damage in several Alabama counties.
Weather officials say an outbreak of tornadoes occurred Sunday afternoon across a wide area of the Southeast as severe storms crossed the region.