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US south hit by severe tornadoes, 11 killed

26 December 2015

Spring-like storms, coupled with unseasonably warm weather created rare Christmas time tornadoes that hit the US South killing at least 11 people, according to officials, Fox News reported.

The report, which had inputs from AP, said emergency officials blamed the severe weather yesterday for injuring scores of others and destroying dozens of cars, homes and businesses.

With the storms heading east yesterday, the threat of tornadoes lessened, but Atlanta and Carolinas experienced heavy precipitation and thunderstorms. Search parties in the communities worst hit by Wednesday's tornadoes hunted for missing people and volunteers helped clear debris.

Warm temperatures ranging in the 7-s Farenheit were recorded in much of the country from Alabama to New York, on Christmas Eve and thousands had to do without power from Mississippi to Michigan. At least seven people died in Mississippi. The dead included a 7-year-old boy who died when the storm picked up and tossed the car he was in, according to officials. Three people died in Tennessee and one in Arkansas. According to Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn the state had dozens of injuries, some serious. According meteorologist Greg Carbin, at the national Storm Prediction Center, the threat of severe weather just before Christmas was unusual, but not unprecedented.

Meanwhile, on Christmas Day, the National Weather Service confirmed that another tornado had hit near Birmingham, Alabama, around 5 pm local time.

According to lieutenant Sean Edwards, a Birmingham police spokesman, trees were down and people were trapped inside damaged house. There were, however, no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.

According to NWs meteorologist Jody Aaron who spoke to Reuters, the twister caused some "significant damage" in the southwestern part of town.

The Birmingham tornado was the latest development in an ongoing series of storms that had hammered the South during Christmas week.

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