The storm destroyed between 20-25 homes in the Sand Island area of Wilcox County. Buildings that once provided refuge for families were reduced to piles of debris, scattered over two miles. Neighbors are in disbelief that a once beautiful community was wiped out in a matter of seconds. More >>
School and city officials are pleading for residents and the curious to stay off of Enterprise streets and asking for people to pray for the residents of the town in the aftermath of a deadly tornado which struck the city around 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. A dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:27 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:27:59 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Memphis' Sarah Simmons advanced to the top eight of "The Voice" Tuesday, but other Memphian Kris Thomas is on his way home after being eliminated. Making it to the top 10 was Kris' goal. OneMore >>
Memphis' Sarah Simmons advanced to the top eight of "The Voice" Tuesday, but other Memphian Kris Thomas is on his way home after being eliminated.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:02:30 GMT
(WMC-TV) - As the clean up efforts continue in Oklahoma, many of you are looking for ways to help the victims. With their hands full, people from all over Mississippi showed up at the Landers Center inMore >>
As the clean up efforts continue in Oklahoma, many of you are looking for ways to help the victims.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:58:49 GMT
(WMC-TV)- Emergency crews have identified most of the 24 people who died, including 10 children, in the tornado Monday. An emergency management official said that six adults are still missing Wednesday. AboutMore >>
In Oklahoma, officials are now estimating the damage done by Monday's tornado to be around $2 billion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:58:20 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Grizzlies game Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs is causing a headache for the Westin Hotel in downtown Memphis. The hotel is overbooked and people who have had reservations for monthsMore >>
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:33 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:33:33 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Memphis city leaders are scrambling to escape financial ruin after the state comptroller sent an unprecented letter, warning the city that it is on shaky ground. Behind the scenes, lawmakersMore >>
Memphis city leaders are scrambling to escape financial ruin after the state comptroller sent an unprecented letter, warning the city that it is on shaky ground.More >>
ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) - A violent storm system that ripped apart an Alabama high school as students hunkered inside later tore through Georgia, hitting a hospital and raising the death toll to at least 20 across the Midwest and Southeast.
Eight students were killed when a tornado struck Enterprise High School, blowing out the walls and collapsing part of the roof, Mayor Kenneth Boswell said Friday.
"They were in a one particular wing that took a direct hit," Boswell said of the victims. Boswell appeared drained as his staff and National Guard crews tried to assess the damage at dawn and search the torn-up neighborhoods for more victims.
"You take it methodically," Boswell said. "You prioritize, and you move on."
As the massive storm system swept into Georgia, another tornado apparently touched down near the Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, 117 miles south of Atlanta, killing at least two people and injuring an undetermined number of others, said Buzz Weiss of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. At least 42 patients were evacuate to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Putney spokeswoman Jackie Ryan said.
Six more people were killed in the town of Newton, Ga., and several homes were destroyed, Fire Chief Andy Belinc said early Friday.
The burst of tornadoes was part of a larger line of thunderstorms and snowstorms that stretched from Minnesota to the Gulf Coast. Authorities blamed a tornado for the death of a 7-year-old girl in Missouri, 10 people in Alabama, nine in Georgia, and twisters also damaged homes in Kansas.
Inside Enterprise High School, officials had been watching the storm Thursday as it swept through southern Missouri, killing a 7-year-old girl there, and headed into Alabama. The students were preparing to leave when the sirens started up and the lights went out.
Teacher Grannison Wagstaff was with them.
"I said 'Here it comes. Hit the deck," he told CBS's "The Early Show" Friday. "I turned around and I could actually see the tornado coming toward me."
As the students scrambled for shelter, a section of roof and a wall near 17-year-old senior Erin Garcia collapsed on her classmates.
"I was just sitting there praying the whole time," Erin said. "It sounded like a bunch of people trying to beat the wall down. People didn't know where to go. They were trying to lead us out of the building.
"I kept seeing people with blood on their faces."
Outside, debris from the school was strewn around the neighborhood, where cars were flipped or tossed atop each other.
At least one other person was killed in Enterprise, a city of about 23,000 some 75 miles south of Montgomery. Another died across the state in rural Millers Ferry, where trailer homes were flipped and trees toppled, officials said.
In Sumter County, home of former President Jimmy Carter, the main hospital received some storm damage and there were two fatalities and an undetermined number of injuries, Weiss said. Officials weren't sure whether the injured and the dead were inside the hospital when it struck, he said.
The front windows of the hospital were blown out and the wind had picked up cars in the parking lot and tossed them around, hurling one into a tree.
Around the town, the storm uprooted trees and knocked down power lines. Several homes and businesses were destroyed in downtown Americus. Among the worst hit was Cheek Memorial Church. It's wooden steeple was knocked off the roof and smashed in front of the church.
Marcia Wilson, who lives across the street from the Church, said she heard a huge roar as the storm went through.
"It felt like the whole house was fixing to fall in," she said. "We could just hear it coming over us. All I could do was pray that God take care of us and he did. We're all right."
Farther north, a tornado killed a man in a mobile home in Taylor County, county Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Lowe said. Weiss said between 40 and 60 homes were damaged in Clay County, south of Muscogee along the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama line.
The storm knocked out power to 15,000 homes in Columbus and another 3,200 across the Chattahoochee in Phenix City, Ala., damaged some buildings and toppled trees into streets.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was flying by helicopter Friday morning to Americus and Baker County to survey the damage there, Perdue spokesman Dan McLagan said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Click the links below to watch video coverage from our sister station, WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Alabama. Additionally, click the links in the "Also on WMCTV.com" box on this page to read tornado coverage from our sister stations WSFA-TV in Montgomery and WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:32 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:32:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage. One Germantown family said it only took one infected tick to change their entire lifestyle – something they have been dealing withMore >>
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 20:46:13 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The man accused of killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon. Action News 5's Nick Kenney was there as Timothy McKinney was released. McKinney was accused ofMore >>
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:33 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:33:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The City of Memphis is saying "goodbye and good riddance" to blight. A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is nowMore >>
A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is now being demolished.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:48:12 GMT
(WMC-TV) - More jobs are coming to Memphis and city leaders are rolling out the red carpet to celebrate. Kruger Products is a leading nationwide towel and tissue manufacturer. The company announced theyMore >>
A Canadian company announced that are adding hundreds of jobs to its North Memphis office. Kruger Products rolled out the red carpet Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the expansion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:48:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered. Frances Chambers has spent the past four years and a lot of money investigating the death of her son Demond. Police in herMore >>
A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered, despite the medical examiner's report. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:10:09 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system. Action News 5's Justin Hanson is speaking to longtime MCS teachers and volunteersMore >>
Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:22:48 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department fired two of its officers Wednesday. Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and violate regulation. In February, thereMore >>
Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and aid to violate regulation.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >>
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:49 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:49:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday. Inside Louise Rinhart's home is not much better. "Carpet and I got hardwoodMore >>
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:13 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:13:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday. The firefighters offered piggyback rides to children toMore >>
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