Deadly Storms Ravage The South; Alabama Hit Hard

Originally published on April 28, 2011 12:08 pm
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Let's go now to the heart of the storm damage across much of the South this morning.

INSKEEP: Of all yesterday's storms, the deadliest came in Alabama. And the worst of those was a tornado that approached Tuscaloosa.

MONTAGNE: It did not miss the neighborhood where Alexis McGraw lives.

MONTAGNE: There was glass, it was metal all over the street. I mean the houses were - nothing was left. It was just mostly a lot of concrete foundations that were the only thing left.

INSKEEP: Yasamie August of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency says that's because the storm struck urban areas.

MONTAGNE: It hit a very dense, populated area. You know, it wasn't out in the field. Sometimes, when you see a tornado, you can kind of see it coming through an empty field or farmland. Well, this is not what we're referring to. This storm came through downtown Birmingham, downtown Tuscaloosa.

MONTAGNE: And the storm even struck the offices of emergency responders.

MONTAGNE: In Tuscaloosa County, the EMA office was severely damaged. All of the police cars overturned. You see people just walking up and down the street, just kind of - almost at a loss of what to do next because there is so much damage in these areas.

INSKEEP: And the damage explains why Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is urging patience.

MONTAGNE: We're going to reach out to everyone that's hurting and it's going to take days or weeks. It's not going to be a quick response, but we're going to do it as quickly as we possibly can.

MONTAGNE: The governor spoke on the ABC affiliate WBMA in Birmingham. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.