Lee County tornado claims 23 lives


Washington Post photo by Kevin D. Liles
Danny Allen, foreground, and Dax Leandro search through the remnants of Chris Sward’s home in Beauregard, Ala., after a tornado destroyed it on Sunday, March 3, 2019. 

JP Wood, Staff Reporter

23 people are dead after an EF4 tornado barreled through Lee County on Sunday. The tornado was one of 34 that spawned during an outbreak across Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Its 23 victims make it the deadliest tornado in nearly 6 years. 

Governor Kay Ivey, who toured the devastation, described what she saw as “absolutely horrendous.” Ivey requested and will receive help from FEMA in recovery assistance for the area. She went on to praise the response of the wider state community in their immediate outpouring of support and assistance, and stated that there is a certain resiliency in the people of Alabama. “We’ve done it before; we’ll do it again.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall says that his office will make sure that all those assisting the victims monetarily will have their money go directly to those affected. He said the damage he saw left him speechless.

As of Wednesday, all missing persons are accounted for according to Lee County sheriff Jay Jones. He stated that “there has been a river of support, and for once I’m happy to see a river of nature that overflows its banks.”

To assist in the recovery of Lee County, Marshall says people should first register with FEMA at http://www.disasterassistance.gov. Lee County EMA director Kathy Carson echoed the need for assistance from those in the general populous. “We can’t replace their lost loved ones, but we can help them at least get their homes and lives back together in as many ways as we can,” she said.

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