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.

Post by:
Filed under: Alabama • Georgia • Tennessee • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. T P L

    My prayers go out to all that have been affected by the storms. But I have to say this I would take a Blizzard in Buffalo any day above this. Snow melts and my home is still there.

    April 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Danielle

    Does anyone know if Vinemont, Alabama in Cullman County was hit?? My nephews father is there, and he is having a really hard time dealing with this and I cannot find any direct information. If anyone knows please reply!
    Thanks so much!

    April 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sbd

    CNN should keep this tragic event as their primary news responsiblity. A different times today the wedding event was listed as the top news issue. At any other time a celebration event in another country might be alright if there was nothing of exceeding importance here. With disaster unfolding last night, "the wedding" is not the priority. Disaster victims are the priority.

    April 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mad Hatter

    Thank you weather channel. I was able to contact my brother last night. I woke him up and he was able to get his family to safety before the tornado hit.

    April 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Furious in Kansas

    The Weather Channel did a fantastic job of covering the storms. The live shot that Jeff Morrow had from Birmingham when the tornado hit the west and north sides of that city was unbelievable and staggered the imagination. Now the rest of the so-called news sources are catching up only to the real story in this country right now. Is CNN going to break in when the Royal Wedding is consumated? Will they have live video? Fox News Channel probably will.

    April 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stacy

    was cartersville ga hit

    April 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lorenzo

    while I feel sympathy for the people that have lost family and property, I wouldn't send a penny in federal help! Aren't we broke? Have them send the request to the Tea Party! They have all the answers. The Governor of Alabama yesterday mentioned the National Weather Service and then how he was going to apply for Federal Grants and declare a state of emergency to get "Federal" FEMA money? Really?

    April 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike R

    looking at all that has happen on the news and how many homes where takin and all that have been kill whats that steps that need to be takin. Michael R. (age:19)

    April 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DERRUFO

    not a joke Check out YouTube – UFOs cause some Tornados Alien Agenda, VIDEO PRODUCER : DERRUFO360
    A WEATHER SITE RECORDED IMAGES SHOWING 3 UFOS OFF THE COAST DOWN THERE AND ON LAND WERE 3 RED STORM SITE ( DANGEROUS STORMS ), THE STORMS WERE IN SAME FORMATION AS THE UFOS...MEANS IT IS THE ALIENS POSSIBLY WORKING ON WAYS TO MOVE ON US...IF TORNADOS GET WORSE YOU WILL AGREE....SEE THE VIDEO – IT SHOWS 2 STILL PHOTOS FROM A DOWNLOADED WEATHER RADAR SITE DAY OF THE STORMS. not a joke

    April 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey

    "Where is Obama?"
    What would you want Obama to do?
    Stand around now and shake hands?
    He couldn't have stopped a tornado by standing in its path.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey

    @ Mike R (19):
    If there were a house near me that was damaged, I would go ask the family that lived there what they needed me to do.
    I might take some candles, or big bottles of water.
    Maybe somebody needs a coat, or a blanket.
    Just asking will probably mean more than anything you can actually do.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey

    If my house were splintered, one thing that would make me feel better would be a neighbor's bringing me a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with a lot of paper napkins.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Justin Kase

    This tornado season is off to a really sad start, and it is hard to view the devastation across much of the South. Every year we see pictures of homes splintered or obliterated by tornadoes. Every year those homes are replaced by similar structures. It is possible to build ICF concrete homes that will withstand most tornadoes. They do cost somewhat more, but are incredibly strong and can be built resistant to other threats as well. No, i don't sell them, just would like more people in danger zones to be safer if they can swing it.

    April 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    Bring back UNATTACHED storm shelters and use them.
    One's life is what matters.
    Life is not about a house.

    April 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. flying

    I am so sorry to hear that. we should always be ready to help in any possible way!
    Onitsuka Tiger mexico 66

    April 29, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6