Severe storms move across Alabama; three reported dead in Pickens County

Severe storms move across Alabama; three reported dead in Pickens County

Article by Carrie Brown McWhorter

Photo by Susanna Fowler

Severe thunderstorms moved through Alabama today (Jan. 11), killing three and leaving thousands without power.

Emergency personnel across the state are responding to downed power lines, fallen trees (such as the one shown here on the campus of Judson College in Marion) and damage from straight line winds which measured in excess of 63 miles per hour. Localized flooding was also reported with the storms.

In Carrollton three people were killed, according to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.

The storms passed out of Alabama into Georgia just before 4 p.m. but not before several churches sustained damage including First Baptist Church, Saks; Edgewater Baptist Church in the Bessemer area; and Valley Grove Baptist Church, Tuscumbia.

The Alabama Baptist will provide continued updates as they become available.

Responding after a storm

In the aftermath of tornadoes and storms, help will be needed, but church leaders who have experienced such disasters in the past recommend the following:

  1. As search and rescue operations are underway, please stay clear of storm-affected areas unless you have prior authorization.
  2. Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief will respond as needed. Response efforts will include trained volunteers working on chainsaw teams, serving as chaplains and performing other roles as needed.
  3. If your Disaster Relief team is needed, you will be contacted and given clear instructions.
  4. You can purchase gift cards that will be distributed to those who live in the area affected by tornadoes. These could be from Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. This is better than collecting supplies as it allows residents to purchase what they need. Often, there ends up being a surplus of water, diapers, etc. You can turn in gift cards to your church or associational office for distribution in affected areas.
  5. Pray! A tornado is a devastating event for the local residents, especially those who have lost loved ones and homes. Pray for the rescue and recovery efforts and for the trained volunteers who will help with cleanup.