April 28th, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Live blog: Storms kill 184 in Alabama, 272 across South

[Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday called the loss of life from storms in the American Southeast "heartbreaking," and said that the "federal government will do everything we can to help (people affected by the deadly storms) recover."

We are "ready to help in any possible way," he said.

iReport: Share photos, video of the tornado aftermath

FULL STORY

[Updated at 3:14 p.m. ET] The death toll from severe weather in Alabama has reached 184, and the death toll in Tennessee has risen to 33, authorities said Thursday. The overall death toll is 272 people in six states.

[Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET] The death toll from severe weather in Alabama has reached 162, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Yasamie August said Thursday. The overall death toll is as many as 247 people in six states.

[Updated at 12:33 p.m. ET] The death toll from severe weather in Georgia is at 14, Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday. There are now as many as 234 people dead in six states.

[Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET] In the DeKalb County, Alabama town of Rainsville, 25 bodies were recovered near one parking lot in the center of town, said Israel Partridge, a local business owner who teaches search and rescue and volunteered to help the Rainsville Fire Department Wednesday night. Rainsville Police Chief Charles Centers confirmed the 25 dead, adding eight were in one trailer park. Many people are unaccounted for, Centers said.

Partridge said one tree that had been uprooted and tossed still had a dog alive, tied to it. Partridge said he freed the dog and gave it to a family to take care of.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET] Thirty people have died in Tennessee as a result of severe weather, according to the Tennessee Emergency Operations Center. The death total from a wave of powerful storms that struck the South is now as many as 231 people in six states.

[Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET] The Tennessee Valley Authority reports that Wednesday's storms knocked out 90 large power transmission lines, only 13 of which were back in service by 10 a.m. Wednesday.

More than 322,000 customers of 49 TVA distributors were without power Wednesday morning, the TVA said in a press release.

That number could rise as crews conduct further assessments of damage, TVA said.

[Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET] Eight people have died in Virginia as a result of severe weather, the governor's office said Thursday, bringing the overall death toll from storms across the South to 202 people in six states.

Were you affected by the tornadoes? Share your images, stories with CNN iReport.

[Updated at 8:34 a.m. ET] The death toll from severe weather in the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is now at 36, Mayor Walter Maddox said Thursday, putting the overall death toll across the South at 194.

[Updated at 6:39 a.m. ET] Extreme weather across the southern United States has left at least 173 people dead, according to state officials.  The death toll in Mississippi climbed to 32 early Thursday.

[Updated at 6:01 a.m. ET] Extreme weather across the southern United States has left at least 159 people dead, according to state officials.  The death toll in Alabama climbed to 128  Thursday.

[Updated at 5:45 a.m. ET] Extreme weather left at least 123 people dead in Alabama, emergency management officials said Thursday.

[Updated at 4:42 a.m. ET] The death toll in Georgia now stands at 11, after the Spalding County Sherriff's Department confirmed two fatalities in that county.

Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in four hard-hit Georgia counties - Catoosa, Floyd, Dade and Walker.

[Updated at 4:20 a.m. ET]   The death toll from a series of violent storms that swept across the South rose to 76 early Thursday after Mississippi officials confirmed the storm-related deaths of 18 people in that state.

Among the fatalities was a 3-year-old girl in McComb, Mississippi, who died in her bed from a falling tree.

[Updated at 3:49 a.m. ET]   Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in four storm-ravaged counties - Catoosa, Floyd, Dade and Walker.

[Updated at 3:40 a.m. ET]  Greg Flynn with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency tells CNN the death toll in the state has risen to 18 from Wednesday's powerful storms.

Flynn says they have reports of damage in 50 counties, impacting at least 230 homes and 20 businesses.

[Updated at 2:04 a.m. ET]   Severe storms pummeled Alabama and cut a path of destruction across several other southern states Wednesday, killing  at least 67 people across the region, leveling buildings and trapping residents in their homes.

The storms killed nine people in Georgia, seven in Catoosa County and two in Dade County, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

The town of Ringgold, Georgia, was hit particularly hard. One tornado appeared to remain on the ground for at least a mile, said Gary Sisk with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, adding that some buildings were demolished.

Arkansas and Tennessee reported that at least one person died in each of those states.

[Updated at 1:57 a.m. ET]   Severe storms pummeled Alabama and cut a path of destruction across several other southern states Wednesday, killing  at least 66 people across the region, leveling buildings and trapping residents in their homes.

Alabama appeared to be the hardest hit Wednesday night, with at least 45 people killed in severe storms and tornadoes, said Lauree Ashcom, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

[Updated at 1:40 a.m. ET]  A total of seven fatalities have been confirmed in Catoosa County, Georgia, after severe storms moved through late Wednesday, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

The deaths bring the statewide total to eight.  One person also died in Trenton.

At least three of the fatalities were in the town of Ringgold, which was hit particularly hard. One tornado appeared to remain on the ground for at least a mile, said Gary Sisk with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, adding that some buildings were completely demolished.

[Updated at 1:10 a.m. ET]   Severe storms pummeled Alabama and cut a path of destruction across several other southern states Wednesday, killing  at least 62 people across the region, leveling buildings and trapping residents in their homes.

Alabama appeared to be the hardest hit Wednesday night, with at least 45 people killed in severe storms and tornadoes, said Lauree Ashcom, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

The National Guard dispatched hundreds of personnel to some of the state's hardest hit areas.

"This has been a very serious and deadly event that's affected our state, and it's not over yet," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters Wednesday evening.

President Barack Obama announced late Wednesday he had approved Bentley's request for emergency federal assistance,  including search and rescue support.

"While we may not know the extent of the damage for days, we will continue to monitor these severe storms across the country and stand ready to continue to help the people of Alabama and all citizens affected by these storms," Obama said in a statement.

"Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives because of the tornadoes that have swept through Alabama and the southeastern United States."

[Updated at 12:43 a.m. ET]Severe storms cut a path of destruction across several other southern states Wednesday, killing at least 62 people, and leaving buildings leveled and residents trapped in their homes.

Authorities said at least 62 people died in storms across the region.

Alabama appeared to be the hardest hit Wednesday night, with at least 45 people killed in severe storms and tornadoes, said Lauree Ashcom, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

[Updated at 11:41 p.m. ET] Three deaths have been confirmed in Ringgold, Georgia, after severe storms moved through late Wednesday, bringing the five-state death toll from Tuesday night's and Wednesday's storms in the South to 42, according to authorities.

In Ringgold, eight people were taken to a hospital, according to Gary Sisk with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department. There was no word on the severity of the injuries, he said.

The town in northwest Georgia was hit particularly hard. One tornado appeared to remain on the ground for at least a mile, said Sisk, adding that some buildings were completely demolished.

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Filed under: Alabama • Georgia • Tennessee • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Joseph Stuart Monmouth Angle

    @ saxon:
    We won the war.

    April 28, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    Hear, hear!

    April 28, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Julie Miller

    I own a company that sells 72 hour emergency kits for the home with emergency food and water and a lot more. I am willing to ship nest day kits for free.www.FirstGearKits.com

    April 28, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Reaper

    I KNOW ITS NOT FUNNY, BUT WHO NEEDS A LAUGH RIGHT NOW! STOP SUPRESSING YOUR WILD SELVES! THATS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT! CALL ME OUT PERSONALLY YOU heartless DEAD!

    April 28, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Reaper

    MASS EXODUS TO THE ROCKIES!

    April 28, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    This is the worst series of storms that I have heard of in years. Prayers to all that are still missing, and my sympathy to the families that have lost their loved ones. May those devastated know that there are people who are thinking of them, and who care. Because we do.

    April 28, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joshua Hamm

    My mom and dad live in Glade Springs va and they got hit really bad. Thank God they are safe. My prayers go out to all the families that have suffered this terrible storm.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Eileen

    I am so annoyed with all of the these networks. Wednesday when all this was happening and that large tornado was barreling down on Alabama, all the stations had discussions about Donald Trump and President Obama's birth certificate. People were fearing for their lives. Children were worried for their parents, businesses were destroyed. Thank God for The Weather Channel at least they tried to warn people to get to safety.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Backwards World

    So much devastation & the networks are still reporting on a stupid royal wedding. 200 plus lives gone in a flash....people need help in the worst way, but all I heard on the networks was talk about an idiot wedding dress.....people do u wonder why our kids are so far gone?

    April 28, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Backwards World

    Thanks alot Time-Warner & Disney you want us to spend money watch stupid movies about mass destruction.....yet you refuse to use your outlets to warn us about actual dangers that causes mass destruction!

    April 28, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gabby

    I'm from Tuscaloosa, but I'm currently in Birmingham for school. I'm still in shock that this happened. Both of these places are CITIES. Two of the biggest in Alabama. You don't expect tornadoes that big to touchdown in a city!! I'm so shocked right now. Mass Casualty and destruction occurred yesterday. I don't even want to think about how many got injured or killed. So shocked.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. diznbama

    Well we are waking up here in Birmingham, Al and getting all the reports..We still have missing people all over the state and damage is devestating and wide spread. The death toll is now at 145 as of the morning news at 8 AM. I pray for that people will come together for the clean-up and I pray the Lords grace and peace be with those who have missing families, lost homes and lives.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mathilde

    I live in eastern Mississippi, and although my area suffered relatively little damage, we were one of several counties that spent the night without power and reliable phone communication. My thoughts are with those affected by the storms, and I'd like to remind everyone of the importance of having a plan in place for a variety of emergency scenarios and a well-stocked survival kit.

    April 28, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bre

    Don't freak out if you can't get your loved ones on the phone. Lines are down everywhere.

    April 28, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. Terra

    Just want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by these storms. My home town, Cordova Alabama was hit VERY hard. It's pretty much gone. It was a very small town where everyone knows everyone. So far 13 have been reported dead and weather you are related to the dead or not your heart breaks because we were such a tight knit of family and friends. I am currently a soldier in the U.S. Army and I'm stationed in VA. I am watching CNN to stay updated but I have not heard you say ANYTHING about Cordova, Alabama. Please report on them. They are important too!!!

    April 28, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
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