Alabama County Blasted By Series of Powerful Tornadoes


Michael Markoch

LEE COUNTY, AL- The warning came and went, the noise was louder than anything they’ve ever heard, the wind picked up and then there was nothing.  

That was the scene in Lee County, Alabama on Sunday, March 3rd when a series of EF-4 tornadoes ravaged the small Alabama county and a small part of Georgia.

EF-4 is a rank on the scale for measuring the magnitude of a tornado based on the speed and power of its winds, with EF-1 being the lowest and EF-5 the highest.

The first tornado warning came at approximately 2:58 pm, with reports of strikes about five minutes later.  The second tornado hit at about 3:38 pm, only about 40 minutes after the first storm.

The storms contained record winds, reaching over 160 mph wind blowing away anything in its path.  The destruction could be seen for about 24 miles and was likely longer because it also passed over the Georgia state line.

The damage turned deadly, leaving at least 23 people, including 3 children, dead with the search still ongoing. It was Alabama’s deadliest tornado since 2011, when more than 200 people died in the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham area.

Not only the deaths, but thousands of people lost their homes and many more are currently missing.  Citizens of Lee County now have to start most of their lives over again following the storms.

Evidence shows that two tornadoes struck the area, but more may have come through, but none as powerful as the EF-4s that made headlines.  Still, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines, more severe weather could be headed through the gulf area and affect even more people.  However this time, there is more of a warning and chance for citizens to evacuate.

It is important to keep the people of Lee County, Alabama in our thoughts and prayers and help them in any way we can so that they may begin to recover from these horrible storms and the ones yet to come.


Works Cited

PC: Mike Haskey, Ledger-Enquirer