4 members of the same family among those killed in Alabama during tornado, officials say


Four members of the same family were among the seven people killed in Autauga County, Alabama, last week, the sheriff’s office said, when a powerful tornado swept through the area.

The four related victims lived in two homes on Sandy Ridge Road in Prattville, about 27 miles northwest of Montgomery, the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Saturday: Robert Gardner Jr., 70, and Deanna Marie Corbin, 59, lived in one house while Christopher Allen Cobrin Jr., 46, and Tessa Celeste Desmet, 21, lived in the other, the publication said. It was not specified how the victims were related.

The three others killed in Autauga County were Carmen Cox Autery, 59, who also lived on Sandy Ridge Road; Andrea Sue Taylor, 61; and Solomon Antiono Smith, 50 said the release.

While there were dozens of preliminary tornado reports in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky, Autauga County was particularly hard hit. Wind intensity was rated at least EF-3 by the National Weather Service, meaning it had gusts of at least 136 miles per hour. Teams continued to investigate damage in the area on Sunday. This was announced by the office of the National Weather Service in Birminghamto determine if the same tornado continued through Coosa and Tallapoosa counties.

“This powerful tornado swept through Autauga County leaving many, many miles of damage to homes and property,” the sheriff’s office said. “Hundreds of homes in the Old Kingston, Posey’s Crossroads, White City and Marbury areas were damaged or destroyed.”

Damage from last week's tornado can be seen in Autauga County, Alabama.

Overall, at least nine people were killed in the storm surge, with two others killed in Georgia, including a 5-year-old boy and a state Department of Transportation employee identified as Sean Kornacki in a memo to department officials.

“He was tragically killed on duty earlier this morning while responding to clearing debris in the street after last night’s storms,” ​​Commissioner Russell R. McMurry’s memo said.

President Joe Biden authorized a major disaster declaration for the state of Alabama, the White House said in a press release early Sunday, and ordered federal aid to be provided to help with recovery efforts.

The approval makes federal funds available to those affected in Autauga and Dallas counties, the release said, adding that the support uses “grant grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.” can be.