â€¢ Nine people reported dead in southern Alabama
â€¢ One death reported in southern Missouri
â€¢ Meteorologist: System could spawn up to 50 twisters
â€¢ Severe storms hit Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas
ENTERPRISE, Alabama (CNN) -- At least nine people are dead after tornadoes tore through southern Alabama on Thursday afternoon, emergency management officials said.
Eight of the dead were in Enterprise. Several people also have been injured and several are missing.
Students at Enterprise High School were taking cover in the hallways when the twister hit the building.
A suspected tornado struck Linn County, Kansas, on Wednesday night.
"We were sitting there in the halls. All of a sudden, I look out the window, the wind started to pick up and the roof starts to come off and the whole building collapsed on everybody," said Chase Baldwin, a student at Enterprise high school.
"A bunch of people were trapped under cinder blocks and stuff, and people had their heads cut open."
The high school was heavily damaged, said Laren Allgood, a reporter for the Enterprise Ledger.
"It looked like a bomb dropped on the high school," she said. "All the school buses are demolished."
About eight students were trapped in the debris, she said. "They just got one out. Kids are walking around dazed, cut."
Another witness said that a girl was pinned from the waist down when a wall fell on her; another girl was unconscious.
She said alarms alerted the town's 20,000 residents before the tornado hit. "We knew to take cover."
The remains of a barn, destroyed by an apparent overnight tornado in Missouri.
Weather officials told CNN that at least one person was dead in Wilcox County, where a number of homes were destroyed.
"Our emergency room is a very, very busy place right now," said Toni Kaminski, an administrator with Enterprise Medical Center.
"We've seen lacerations, we've seen folks with tightness in their chest from the anxiety," she told CNN.
The hospital incurred "peripheral damage," she said. Windows were broken and ceiling tiles were damaged.
Windows in surrounding buildings were "blown out" and the hospital was running on emergency power, Kaminski said. "There are trees down on roads all around us."
"There are a lot of cars upside down," said John Dean, who lives near the school, where ambulances were lined up. "None of the cars have windows in them. The streets around the school -- the same situation. A lot of roofs missing. Everybody's car windows were blown out. It's pretty bad."
Resident Tara McGrath said she weathered the storm inside an industrial-size refrigerator at her work place and left it afterward in time to see two twisters headed out of town.
"It was very frightening," she told CNN. "I'm shaky still from it."
"I heard rumbling," said Walt Thornton, who works at the Enterprise Municipal Airport. "I looked up to the southwest and saw -- to me it was a very, a huge tornado going on in the valley behind some of our hangars."
He estimated the funnel cloud was "probably a quarter mile from me," but he said it did not hit the airport.
Tim Greathouse, a reporter for the Ledger, said he saw "a lot of structural damage" after the storm passed through the town.
A roof at the elementary school "has been ripped," he said. "Shingles scattered all over."
Power lines were down and the utility crews were out "in full force," he said.
Larry Walker with Coffee County's Office of Emergency Management, said residents are "up to their eyeballs" trying to assess damage.
A tow truck driver helps a motorist amid blowing snow in Fargo, North Dakota.
A tornado was also reported in nearby Abbeville, in Henry County, Alabama, a spokesman for the Abbeville Police Department said.
"We had one residence that was struck, no reports of injuries," said public information officer Chad Sowell. About half a mile away, 10 miles west of Abbeville, an 18-wheeler was overturned on State Highway 10 and the driver was trapped, he said.
Storm system moving east
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is anticipating high winds, hail and tornadoes, and was arranging conference calls Thursday with county emergency management offices to ensure they were prepared, said agency spokesman Ken Davis.
"They're quite concerned," Davis said. "We're staffing up for a long night tonight. Other than that, there's not a whole lot you can do."
Severe weather is predicted from Illinois to Florida, and residents are being warned to watch for tornadoes and thunderstorms.
[img width=480 height=263]http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/weather/0702/popup.severe.forecast/popup.severe.forecast.gif[/img]
Copyright 2007 CNN
De NOAA heeft een â€˜Major Severe Weather Outbreakâ€™ waarschuwing uitgegeven voor vanavond en vannacht. In de staten Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama en Georgia wordt zwaar weer verwacht met kans op veel en langdurige tornadoâ€™s.
De NOAA heeft speciaal een uitgebreide waarschuwing gepubliceerd met alle details.
Kijk op www.weather.gov.
Bij tornado's in het zuiden en midden van de VS zijn elf doden gevallen.
In de stad Enterprise in de staat Alabama vielen vijf doden toen het dak van een middelbare school instortte. Ook in de omgeving van de school is de ravage enorm; daar vielen nog eens twee doden. President Bush heeft de staat federale hulp aangeboden. Troepen van de Nationale Garde zijn ter plaatse.
In de staat Georgia vielen drie doden in de stad Americus. Daar werd onder meer een ziekenhuis beschadigd. In Missouri overleed een meisje toen een tornado een camper verwoestte.
Â© RTLNieuws.nl | Gewijzigd: 2 februari 2017, 09:43 uur, door Joyce.s
â€¢ Six more tornado deaths confirmed in Georgia
â€¢ Seven die in Alabama twister; five at Enterprise High School
â€¢ At least three killed as tornadoes hit southern Georgia
â€¢ One fatality blamed on tornado in Missouri
Military helicopters evacuate the injured from the tornado-slammed Enterprise High School in Alabama
ENTERPRISE, Alabama (CNN) -- Six more tornado-related deaths were reported in Georgia early Friday, bringing to 17 the number of fatalities blamed on a storm system that blasted the central and southeastern United States.
The storms killed nine people in Georgia, seven in Alabama and one in Missouri.
Details of the six newly reported fatalities in Georgia early Friday were not immediately available.
In southeastern Alabama, a tornado Thursday afternoon killed seven people, five of them at Enterprise High School, said spokeswoman Tasamie Richardson.
At least two people were killed when a tornado slammed into a hospital in the south Georgia town of Americus on Thursday evening, according to a Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokesman.
A third person was killed and four were hurt when a tornado touched down in rural Taylor County near the southwest Georgia city of Albany, the spokesman said.
The city of Americus lost its fleet of ambulances when the tornado hit at the Sumter Regional Medical Center just before 10 p.m. ET, said Buzz Weiss of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. Ambulances from Albany, about 35 miles away, were sent to Americus to help, Weiss said. It was not immediately known if those killed in Americus were patients at the hospital, he said.
Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith said at least seven people were critically injured. In all, 50 patients were evacuated from the hospital to other medical facilities in nearby towns, he said.
One of the buildings destroyed in Americus was the local headquarters of the American Red Cross. A Red Cross official said the relief group also lost three disaster trailers, lights and generators that would have been used to respond to the disaster.
It was presumed that the other six Georgia fatalities occurred in the Americus-Albany area.
Residents gather near a house that had a truck thrown into it by the tornado in Enterprise.
'The whole building just collapsed'
In Alabama, a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed on Enterprise to help keep roads clear for emergency workers, who were working overnight to search the damaged buildings, Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell said.
Watch tornado scream into Enterprise <<
Students at Enterprise High School were taking cover when it was hit.
>> Watch scenes of destruction <<
"The whole building just collapsed on everybody," said Chase Baldwin, a student at the school. "A bunch of people were trapped under cinder blocks, and people had their heads cut open."
There was one other death in Enterprise and one fatality in Wilcox County, where a number of homes were destroyed, Richardson said.
CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre, in the area to cover a military story, said Enterprise was reeling from "utter devastation" as anguished parents rushed to the town's severely damaged high school.
"[There are] vehicles flipped over, houses gone. This huge brick and steel building [was] torn apart by the power of the storm," McIntrye said.
"You can see the grief on the faces of the people who come here," he added. "I saw one student walking away, being comforted by another student."
Laren Allgood, a reporter for the Enterprise Ledger, said the sprawling high school "looked like a bomb dropped on [it.] All the school buses are demolished."
Allgood said alarms alerted the town's 20,000 residents before the tornado hit. "We knew to take cover."
The National Weather Service reported a swath of damage about 200 yards wide in Enterprise.
"I heard rumbling," said Walt Thornton, who works at the Enterprise Municipal Airport. "I looked up to the southwest and saw ... a huge tornado going on in the valley behind some of our hangars."
A tornado was also reported in nearby Abbeville, in Henry County, Alabama, a spokesman for the Abbeville Police Department said. There were no reports of injuries.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley ordered the state's National Guard to send a contingent of 140 troops, including medics, MPs and roving security patrols, from Mobile to Enterprise. Their primary mission is security.
The National Guard has three CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters, as well as an engineering unit on standby if needed for search and rescue or debris removal.
In addition, at least two UH-1 "Huey" medevac helicopters were sent from nearby Fort Rucker to the high school.
Riley also declared a state of emergency in the area.
President Bush was briefed on the storm while in New Orleans Thursday afternoon and again when he boarded Air Force One for the return flight to Washington. He telephoned Riley and Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt en route.
"The president is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of life," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. "He is thinking about the families of the victims and the citizens of the states, and the administration stands ready to help."
One death in Missouri blamed on system
A battered truck rests against a broken tree after a tornado touched down early Thursday near Caulfield, Missouri.
Earlier Thursday, a suspected tornado touched down at least twice in southern Missouri, leaving one person dead and four injured, according to Susie Stonner of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency.
>> Watch: Path of destruction <<
Dennis Crider, a journalist for the West Plains Quill, told CNN the fatality was a 7-year-old girl in the small community of Caulfield. Three of the injured were her father, mother and a brother, Crider quoted the Howell County sheriff as saying.
A gas station in Caulfield, about 15 miles west of West Plains, was destroyed by the storm, according to the assistant manager of a neighboring station.
"It's like a war zone down there," said Delora Murta.
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David Matthes, center, tries to salvage the remains of his familyâ€™s home near Blue Mound, Kansas.
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Don Dixon, left, and Kayla Jarvis sort through debris at a destroyed gas station in Caulfield, Missouri. The storm swept through around dawn, killing a seven-year-old child.
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Just east of Caulfield, Kermit Collins, left, walks among debris from his cousinâ€™s mobile home which was destroyed by the storm.
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This picture, courtesy of Hannah Newkirk, shows a damaged barn in Adrian, Missouri.
The storm system apparently formed quickly.
"We had a spotter who watched [the tornado] form and dissipate in 10 minutes," said West Plains Emergency Management Coordinator Kent Edge.
The storm system hit northern Arkansas Thursday morning. Hail covered the ground, but there was no damage and officials do not believe a tornado touched down.
On the north side of the storm, blizzard-like conditions and heavy snow were hitting the states in the path of the system.
Copyright 2007 CNN.
[modbreak] Bij de filmpjes moet je eerst even door de reclame heenbijten[/modbreak]
A man inspects the tornado damage to Enterprise (Ala.) High School, Friday, March 2, 2007. Eight students were killed when a tornado struck the school, blowing out the walls and collapsing part of the roof, Mayor Kenneth Boswell said Friday. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Debris from roof damage at the Hawthorn Suites is scattered in front of the hotel, after a severe storm moved through the area, Thursday, March 1, 2007, in Columbus, Ga. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Heath Hughes looks at the damage done to his home after a tornado swept through the Echo community near Ozark, Ala., Thursday afternoon, March 1, 2007, demolishing homes and poultry houses in the area. (Photo: AP Photo)
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A friend helps a woman and her husband, not seen, look for documents in the remains of the couple's home in Enterprise, Ala., on Thursday March 1, 2007. The woman and her husband were in the home when an apparent tornado hit and he pushed her into the bathroom and lay on top of her until the storm passed. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Pedestrians walk by the debris of vehicles and homes in front of Enterprise (Ala.) High School on Thursday, March 1, 2007, after a suspected tornado destroyed many homes and part of the school. (Photo: AP Photo)
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A flipped car is on the football field at Enterprise (Ala.) High School after a tornado hit the school and the area, Thursday, March 1, 2007. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Rescue workers leave the parking lot of the Enterprise High School after checking for victims in the vehicles after a tornado swept though Enterprise, Ala., Thursday, March 1, 2007. (Photo: AP Photo)
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U.S. military helicopters evacuate injured persons from Enterprise (Ala.) High School after a tornado did severe damage to the school, Thursday, March 1, 2007. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Residents gather near an overturned truck which landed against a house in Enterprise, Ala., Thursday, March 1, 2007. (Photo: AP Photo)
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Rescue workers wait outside Enterprise (Ala.) High School after an apparent tornado struck the school Thursday, March 1, 2007. (Photo: AP Photo)
First Responders In Alabama Used Cell Phones Instead Of New $18M State Radio Network
(AP) In the chaos after a tornado killed nine people in Enterprise, emergency workers had trouble talking to one another because they tried to use their cell phones instead of the state's $18 million emergency communications upgrade, officials say.
"People were frustrated, but all they had to do was turn on their radios," state Homeland Security Director Jim Walker told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
C.C. Martin uses a tractor to remove a pickup truck from a house damaged by Thursday's tornado in Enterprise, Ala., March 4, 2007. (AP)
Most police, firefighters and other emergency responders in Coffee County use Southern LINC Wireless phones and walkie-talkies for day-to-day communications.
But after the tornado struck on March 1, traffic on that system more than tripled "instantaneously," said Southern LINC's manager of radio frequency and construction, Clay Brogdon.
"It overwhelmed our network," Brogdon said.
Like most people, police and other rescue workers have gotten used to using cell phone technology, said Larry Walker, Coffee County deputy emergency management director.
"Because of our reliance on it, if it goes down you're in a quandary," Larry Walker said.
He said emergency workers eventually switched from cell phones to radios "and that system worked fine."
Rescue workers wait outside Enterprise High School after a tornado struck the school on March 1, 2007. (AP/Dothan Eagle, Danny Tindell)
The problems in Enterprise show how dependent society has become on cell phones, said Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychology professor at the University of Alabama.
"Humans tend to be creatures of habit and our habit these days is the cell phone. It's disabling when technology we have come to rely on is not available to us," Guadagno said.
For years, law enforcement agencies in Alabama struggled with different radio systems that often would not allow officers in one city to talk to police in the next town or even to their own fire department.
In an effort to fix that problem, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security used $18 million from a federal grant in 2004 to buy equipment that would bridge the gaps between various radio systems.
Brogdon said the Southern LINC cell phone tower in the area stayed in service throughout the emergency and Enterprise never completely lost service. He said many callers were unable to get through because so many people were trying to use the system.
Â© MMVII The Associated Press