Tornado roars through Alabama as storms plague U.S. South

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Residents in northern Alabama were warned to be alert for moderate to severe flooding Saturday, a day after a tornado briefly touched down in the state's most populous city but caused only a hint of damage.

See Full Article

The flooding is the result of heavy downpours that have been thrashing the southeastern U.S. since Wednesday, bringing record rainfalls in some areas. The city of Mobile, for example, was walloped with 4 inches (10 centimetres) of rain Wednesday, smashing the previous record of 2.2 inches (5.6 centimetres) set in 1990.

Unseasonably warm weather this week helped stimulate the high winds, tornadoes and torrential precipitation that by Saturday had left at least 17 people dead and dozens of families homeless.

The bodies of two people missing since Wednesday have been found, said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn, bringing the state's storm death toll to 10. Among the victims was a 7-year-old boy who perished while riding in a car that was swept up and tossed by storm winds.

Six people were killed in Tennessee, including three who were found in a car submerged in a creek, according to the Columbia Police Department. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said the victims were a 19-year-old female and two 22-year-old males.

One person died in Arkansas, and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Saturday that he would visit weather-damaged areas in Coffee County. A statement from the governor's office said that about 190 roads across Alabama were closed due to flooding.

The National Weather Service warned residents to avoid driving in areas where flooding was expected. Major flooding is forecast for Big Nance Creek, which runs through the town of Courtland in northern Alabama. The area is about 40 miles (64 kilometres) east of Huntsville. The creek is not expected to fall below flood stage until early Monday.

A flood warning was also in effect for the Coosa River, swollen by up to 8 inches (20 centimetres) of rain over the past week, and threatening the city of Gadsden.

The Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles are bracing for what National Weather Service forecasters are calling a "historic blizzard," but the areas under threat are lightly populated.

Between 6 to 15 inches (15 to 37.5 centimetres) of snow are in the forecast for the region, which includes Amarillo and Lubbock. High winds will drive wind chills as low as 10 below zero Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius) and cause low visibility due to blowing and drifting snow.

The blizzard warning for the region takes effect at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Peak tornado season in the South is in the spring, but such storms can happen at any time. Exactly a year ago, tornadoes hit Mississippi, killing five people and injuring dozens.

A tornado touched down in Birmingham on Friday evening, but damage was limited. The funnel was spotted by witnesses outside the city about 5 p.m. An hour later the National Weather Service confirmed that first responders were on the scene along Jefferson Avenue, a working class neighbourhood less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) from downtown Birmingham.

Lt. Sean Edwards, a Birmingham police spokesman, said trees were knocked down and people were trapped inside damaged houses, adding that several people were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Bombing at Pakistan market kills 22, dozens wounded

    World News CBC News
    A bomb exploded Saturday in a market in a northwest tribal region that borders Afghanistan, killing 22 people and wounding at least 50, officials said. Dr. Sabir Hussain at the main hospital in Parachinar, the capital of Pakistan's Kurram tribal region, said two wounded victims died during treatment, raising the death toll. Source
  • More survivors pulled from rubble of Italian hotel, all 4 children survived

    World News CBC News
    Emergency crews pulled out four more survivors from the rubble of a hotel crushed by an avalanche and were searching Saturday for more as family members awaited word if their relatives were among the lucky ones to get out. Source
  • Fiery bus crash kills 16 students in Italy

    World News CBC News
    A bus carrying Hungarian school students home from a skiing trip to France slammed into a highway barrier in northern Italy and caught fire, killing at least 16 people, police said Saturday. Thirty-nine people reportedly survived, though some were seriously injured. Source
  • Liberal peacekeeping decision paused because of uncertainty around Trump

    Canada News CBC News
    Much to the frustration of Canada's allies at the United Nations, the Trudeau government postponed the delivery of its long-anticipated peacekeeping plan last month principally because it needed a better read on what the Trump administration expects of Canada in terms of international defence and security. Source
  • Solidarity sisters! Why Canadians are joining the Women's March on Washington

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian women are donning their "pussyhats" and heading south in buses and cars to take part in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, which is expected to draw about 200,000 protesters who disavow the policies and presidency of Donald Trump. Source
  • Like Trump, Kevin O'Leary only needs voters to take him seriously: Aaron Wherry

    Canada News CBC News
    Perhaps all prime ministers end up becoming television characters, but Kevin O'Leary is the first TV character to run for prime minister. His background is in business but his fame is based on his work as the tough-talking, unforgiving judge on Dragons' Den and Shark Tank and as a business commentator. Source
  • Mud-slinging and Mexican flags define decade-long battle over Trump's Scottish golf course

    World News CBC News
    Strange forces seem to be at work along the remote Scottish coastline just north of Aberdeen. It's a place of wild beauty, where the sand dunes rise to great heights. If it weren't for the bone-chilling cold blowing in with the spray off the North Sea, parts of it could be mistaken for the Sahara or Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter. Source
  • Trump delights supporters, alarms trading partners with inaugural speech: Chris Hall

    World News CBC News
    Donald Trump, we're told, wrote Friday's inaugural speech on his own, and there's little reason to doubt that. It was, for the most part, a rehash of the themes he's set out ever since he got into the race to be president back in 2015. Source
  • British foreign secretary 'positive and optimistic' on Trump

    World News CTV News
    Promises, pomp, protests as Donald Trump sworn in Latest updates: Trump returns to White House after celebrations Source
  • 16 killed in fiery bus crash on Italian highway

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian police say 16 people died when a bus carrying Hungarian school students returning home from France crashed into the side of a highway near Verona. Thirty-nine people survived. Police commander Geralomo Lacquanita said the bus crashed and burst into flames just before midnight. Source