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Carol Dean, (right), cries while embraced by Megan Anderson and her 18-month-old daughter Madilyn, as Dean sifts through the debris of the home she shared with her husband, David Wayne Dean, who died when a tornado destroyed the house in Beauregard, Alabama.   --Photo AP

23 dead, dozens missing in tornado-blasted Alabama community

BEAUREGARD, Ala. (AP) -- Rescue crews using dogs and drones searched for victims amid splintered lumber and twisted metal Monday after the deadliest US tornado in nearly six years ripped through a rural Alabama community. At least 23 people were killed, some of them children.
Dozens were missing in Lee County nearly a day after the twister struck, according to the sheriff, who said that crews had combed the hardest-hit areas but that other places had yet to be searched.
The winds Sunday afternoon obliterated numerous homes, leaving huge, jumbled piles of wood and household belongings. Some homes were reduced to concrete slabs. Debris was scattered across the countryside, with shredded metal hanging from the pine trees.
“I’m not going to be surprised if we don’t come up with some more deceased. Hopefully we won’t,” Coroner Bill Harris said. He said the dead included almost entire families and at least three children, ages 6, 9 and 10.
A post on the Lee-Scott Academy’s Facebook page said fourth-grader Taylor Thornton was among those killed.
On the day after the disaster, volunteers used chain saws to clear paths for emergency workers. Neighbors and friends helped one another find some of their belongings in the ruins.
Carol Dean found her wedding dress among the wreckage of her mobile home. But the storm took her 53-year-old husband. She said David Wayne Dean was at home Sunday afternoon and had texted a friend to beware when the tornado hit.
“He didn’t make it out,” she said.
Dean said she rushed home from her job at Walmart when she couldn’t reach her husband on the phone. She pushed her way past sheriff’s deputies who tried to keep her out of the damaged area. Her children had found David Dean’s body in a neighbor’s yard.


(Latest Update
March 6,
2019)


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