DeKalb County tornado damage - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

DeKalb County tornado damage

From DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris:

It appears that last night's tornadoes made a path through DeKalb County about ½ mile wide from Grove Oak to the Georgia line.  We don't think there was one particular community that was hardest hit, as there is significant damage all over Sand Mountain.  As of this time we have approximately 35 fatalities and over 100 injuries resulting from the storms.  It appears that most of the fatalities occurred from Sylvania north, but we have fatalities being confirmed from below Fyffe all the way up to the Georgia line.

We are still in process of searching the houses and areas that were damaged, looking for people who may be trapped.  There are still many people who've been reported missing and are unaccounted for, and we are doing our best to locate them. 

We set up a triage at Rainsville Fire House last night to treat people for their injuries, and carried individuals from there to the area hospitals.  Some people who were seriously injured were transported to Erlanger in Chattanooga.

There's been an outpouring of support from all over Alabama, and for that we are grateful.  Sheriff Grover Smith of Escambia County is here on site offering support, and we have teams from as far away as Mobile here assisting.  I have been in contact with State EMA Director Art Faulkner, and he is sending all the support that he can our way.  We understand that there are communities all over Alabama that have been affected by these storms, so they are doing the best they can with the resources they have to help everyone.

In addition, there was a house fire in a trailer in the Ider area this morning which appears to have been started by a generator.  Two individuals have been confirmed dead in that fire.

We have a command post that has been set up for us at Farmer's Telephone Cooperative in Rainsville.  We are working from there at this time to continue locating people who are missing and to help those that we can. 

We know that there are many people from out of state and even here in the county who are worried about family members that they cannot reach by telephone.  We just ask everyone to bear with us as we search the areas that were hit and try to identify those who were killed.  We are doing everything we can at this time with the resources we have.  It's especially difficult since nobody has power and many phone lines are down, in addition to the cell towers being overloaded.  I've never seen anything like this before, it's just devastating.  This is going to be a long and difficult process, and we just ask for everyone's prayers and patience as we work through it.

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