JANUARY 24, 2012: UPDATE Tornado outbreak in Alabama and US Southeast January 22-23
JANUARY 23, 2012 9:20 A.M. CST (15:20 UTC). Reports from around the Internet indicate at least two people have been killed in the Birmingham, Alabama area tornadoes that took place in the early morning hours on Monday. WBMA TV says the tornadoes also caused “major structural damage” in Alabama. Reports are slow coming in, but EarthSky will update as we get more.
JANUARY 23, 2012 7:05 A.M. CST (13:05 UTC). Searchers in Birmingham, Alabama are reportedly going from house-to-house early Monday, searching for people trapped in their homes, after storms with tornadoes moved through Alabama overnight. According to the Washington Post:
Fire crews were starting the search in Center Point, north of Birmingham, where there were reports of an unknown number of people trapped, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Duty Manager Bob Ammons said.
Reuters reported just after midnight EST on January 23, 2012 that tornadoes had also downed trees and powerlines in Arkansas, leaving thousands without power.
JANUARY 23, 2012, 5:56 A.M. CST (11:56 UTC). The Birmingham News and other local media in Birmingham, Alabama are reporting tornado damage in the north and west parts of the city. A tornado is said to have been “ripping up trees and causing an unknown amount of damage to houses.” The storm moved from Mississippi into Alabama under the cover of darkness early this morning (January 23, 2012). The heaviest damage is reported to be in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.
At this writing, tornado warnings continue in this part of the U.S., and you can get live coverage of the event here.
Hospitals and emergency responders are on alert. There are reports of multiple casualties reported in Oak Grove, Alabama.
Emergency responders in the area were reporting “heavy heavy damage” and “numerous trees down” on emergency radio, according to Mike Oliver of the Birmingham News.
Tornado sightings and warnings continue in this part of Alabama.
This part of the United States suffered less than a year ago, when the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak – the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded according to Wikipedia and popularly known as the 2011 Super Outbreak – affected the southern, midwestern, and northeastern U.S., leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the state of Alabama.
Bottom line: Local media in Birmingham, Alabama are reporting tornado damage in the north and west parts of the city. The storm moved from Mississippi into Alabama under the cover of darkness early this morning (January 23, 2012). The heaviest damage is reported to be in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties. At this writing, tornado warnings continue in this part of the U.S.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.