Death and destruction after tornadoes hit AL, GA

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– At least 14 people died, a number of others were hurt, and widespread damage resulted from a powerful storm system that blew through Alabama and Georgia Sunday.

The worst of the devastation appeared to strike Lee County, Alabama, just across the state line from Columbus, Georgia. The National Weather Service in Birmingham, AL declared a “Tornado Emergency” just after 2 p.m. CST, saying that a tornado had been spotted on the ground in Lee County.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirmed Sunday evening that at least 14 people were killed there. Search and rescue efforts were continuing. A number of injured survivors have been taken to hospitals. Sheriff Jones said some of those injuries are serious.

The small community of Beauregard was especially hard-hit. The sheriff said the tornado’s path appeared to be a quarter-mile wide. He described the damage as “catastrophic”.

That same storm later tracked into Georgia, leading to Tornado Warnings and damage in Muscogee and Harris counties.

Emergency officials in Talbot County, Georgia said six to eight people were injured by storms Sunday afternoon. Those injuries were described as minor.

Shortly after that, a separate storm caused damage in Peach and Crawford counties, just west of Macon.

MORE: Multiple Tornado Warnings as strong storms move in to Georgia

In Harris County, storm damage was widespread, with trees twisted and homes damaged. With the power out, people used chainsaws to clear the debris.

By Sunday evening, the tornado threat had moved south and east of the area. But emergency crews and others said they would be out through the night coping with the devastation left behind.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.