"There are slabs where homes normally stood". The tornado swept up and scattered the debris so widely that the metal frames of two of those homes could not even be located.
"At this stage, it does look like hail is the biggest thing to worry about but we can't completely rule out tornadoes".
She pushed her way past sheriff's deputies who tried to keep her out of the damaged area. Relatives said one extended family lost 10 members. They left the White House just before 10 am from the residential entrance and proceeded to board Marine One.
Seven members of one family were among the 23 victims identified after tornadoes devastated the U.S. state of Alabama, officials have said. But Sheriff Jay Jones said the list of the missing had shrunk from dozens to just seven or eight.
Cindy Sanford, second from right, sifts through the debris with help from her family while retrieving personal items after a tornado destroyed Sanford's home in Beauregard, Ala., March 5, 2019.
Crews searching door-to-door used dogs as well as drones that can detect heat from a body.
"I did a fireman carry over some trees, and when we got there there was a man in a truck, and he jumped out with a chainsaw and started plowing through trees to make a path for my cousin and me to bring our babies to him".
President Donald Trump is visiting Lee County to tour tornado damage Friday.
The tornado that ravaged Lee County was one of 18 that struck Alabama, Florida, Georgia and SC. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected", Stephanie A. Bryan, tribal chair and CEO, said in a statement on social media.
During a tornado, people should seek shelter in the interior room of a home on the lowest floor, according to KnoWhat2Do.com, North Texas' regional preparedness website. The community has a few small stores, two schools and a volunteer fire department dotting the main highway that runs it.
"Some were pretty close to being whole families", he said. "Everybody knows everybody around here". They managed to salvage the couple's safe, her husband's motorcycle boots and her embossed Bible.
"He's going to help people, regardless, to him that's irrelevant", said DuWayne "Moose" Bridges, Jr., who wore his red MAGA hat and hoped to catch a glimpse of Trump. They said seven others killed were their cousins by blood and marriage. "@GovernorKayIvey, one of the best in our Country, has been so informed". For an entire mile down the road, pines were snapped in half. Pieces of homes hung from trees that were not flattened by the storm.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump left Washington Friday morning and were expected to survey the damage, meet with survivors and local officials and "thank our courageous first responders, the White House said".
Survey teams are still assessing storm damage in some areas. Government forecasters "were all over it", said University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd.
Grimes was among three people killed in the tornado-flattened home.
It was one of at least 38 tornadoes confirmed to have touched down across the Southeast in a deadly weekend outbreak.