Lee County hit by toughest tornado in years

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Lee County hit by toughest tornado in years

Celeste Pearisaeff, Staff Reporter

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On Sunday, March 3, tragedy struck the hearts of U.S. citizens when a strong tornado drove itself through Lee County, Alabama. It’s documented as the worst and most destructive tornado in our country since May 2013, killing 23 people, three of whom were children. The tornado ran through with winds of about 170 mph, estimated by the Enhanced Fujita scale by measuring the physical damage of the storm. Actually, there were at least a dozen tornadoes that touched down in Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. As of right now, only six out of the twenty-three victims have yet to be identified, fingerprints are being taken, followed by possible DNA tests. A body was identified recently, that of a little boy named Armando Hernandez—believed to be the youngest person killed in the tornado.

Armando, who was six-years-old, was known as AJ by his family. In his lifetime, he was extremely sweet and a ‘little Angel”. After the storm, his mother put out on social media plea for people to help find the boy. But within hours, AJ’s aunt, Tina Melton, posted on Facebook that he didn’t survive the storm. 

“He was a little Angel from God and God wanted him back,” Melton wrote out. “He was a precious little man that was loved by everyone. I will miss your little smile and your sweet voice and face. He was always eager to give hugs and loved his family”, Melton wrote. 

There are still multiple search parties rummaging through the scraps of the torn down homes and buildings in Lee County. The destruction is absolutely devastating, leaving behind a track almost a mile wide. Lee County Emergency Management Agency officials were set to hold a news conference in Opelika, Alabama, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. They’ll be sending out an update on recovery efforts following the devastating storms and tornadoes.

As mentioned, our whole nation is mourning the deaths and feeling the devastation of all of this destruction. President Trump late Sunday night tweeted to those affected by the storm to be “careful and safe”. He also expressed his condolences at a White House event recently.

“Our whole nation mourns for the more than 20 lives lost”, Trump said, bringing up how he had only been briefed on the “absolute devastation” that very morning. “Probably nobody made it out of that path, that path was brutal”. He then went on to say that this was a time for Americans to cherish their families and “unite as one nation”.

Rising from the rubble of this tragic storm is going to be a tough thing to do for our fellow citizens down in Lee County. Hearts are pouring out in respect for those who lost their homes, family members and friends. There still isn’t much report on how they plan to fix what’s been broken, but hopes are high for things to pick up and get better for the people of Alabama.

About the Writer
Celeste Pearisaeff, Staff Reporter

Hello! My name's Celeste Pearisaeff (pronounced peer-soff) and I am a student and sophomore at Auburn Riverside Senior High school. Some hobbies of mine...

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