Natural Disasters

Killer Tornadoes Devastate Multiple Areas in South, Take Roof Off Courthouse and Law Firm

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A swath of tornadoes described as the worst such storms in nearly 40 years wreaked havoc in the South yesterday, taking the roof off of at least one Alabama courthouse and requiring cancellation of final exams at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Among those affected by the direct hit in Tuscaloosa was law student Daniel Hinton, who made the news as a friend helped him salvage belongings from his destroyed home in the Cedar Crest neighborhood there, explains the caption of a photo published by the Denver Post. Only two decimated exterior walls of his home are still standing; the other two, as well as the roof are gone.

In Cullen County, Ala., the courthouse roof was ripped away and “old buildings that have been there for hundreds of years have just collapsed,” Phyllis Little, who serves as the county’s director of emergency management, tells the Washington Post. “It’s almost total disbelief,” she says of the situation.

An Associated Press photo shows people searching for belongings in the roofless shell of a Cullen County law firm.

Additional and related coverage:

Bloomberg: “Tornadoes Sweep Across Southern U.S., Killing at Least 269 in Six States”

New York Times: “A Chaotic Flurry of Twisters That Spread Devastation Fast and Wide”

New York Times: “South Assesses the Toll After a Deadly Barrage of Tornadoes”

NBC 17: “Price gouging law in effect for areas affected by NC tornadoes and storms”

WPTV: “Local residents worry for family caught in path of tornadoes”

Updated at 8:15 p.m. to link to New York Times coverage.

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