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9 deaths reported after dozens of tornadoes rake the South

Selma, Alabama was among areas hardest hit
Severe Weather Tornado
Posted at 2:03 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 12:29:00-05

A massive storm system that moved across the South created a destructive tornado that was powerful enough to rips apart homes and uproot trees in historic Selma, Alabama.

The Associated Press reported that nine people were killed in Thursday's storms, which included six fatalities in Autauga County, Alabama.

There were 36 unconfirmed tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. Most were in Alabama and Georgia with additional reports coming from Tennessee and Kentucky.

Nearly 40 miles northeast of Selma, Autauga County officials reported that somewhere between 40 to 50 homes were damaged at different severity by storms that ripped across that part of Alabama.

Officials reported that emergency crews were out cutting through trees looking for anyone injured and trapped.

Selma Mayor James Perkins said thankfully no fatalities were immediately reported, and a city curfew was put in place, according to the AP.

Parts of neighboring Georgia were under tornado warnings as strong storms moved across the Southeast.

"Seek shelter now," the National Weather Weather Service warned people in Griffin on Thursday afternoon.

By that time, Tornadoes had already been reported in Alabama on Thursday, with injures and damage.

In Selma, Alabama officials asked residents to stay off roadways as emergency crews assessed damage.

The storms were expected to continue rolling through the region into Thursday evening.

"These storms are producing damaging winds up to 70 MPH and large hail," the National Weather Service warned. The agency warned people to seek shelter amid frequent lightning strikes.

In Alabama's northern city of Huntsville, morning storms destroyed buildings and brought down power lines in the city famous for hosting NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Multiple injuries were reported there.