OHATCHEE, Ala. (WIAT) — Storms that swept through Central Alabama Thursday claimed the lives of five people in Calhoun County. Using the AIR 42 drone, CBS 42 captured aerial footage of the devastation in the town of Ohatchee, where four died as a violent tornado ripped through the area Thursday afternoon.
The four storm victims in Ohatchee were identified as 74-year-old Joe Wayne Harris, 72-year-old James William Geno, 69-year-old Barbara Harris and 38-year-old Ebonique Harris. A fifth victim, 72-year-old Emily Myra Wilborn, was killed in Wellington. The first three victims died in the same home in Ohatchee. The other two victims were found in separate mobile homes, one in Ohatchee and one in Wellington.
Multiple structures in the county were damaged during the “devastating” storms, Calhoun County officials said. In Shelby County, nearly 60 homes in the city of Pelham were hit, 22 of which suffered major structural damage.
Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement on the damage and loss of life Thursday.
“Significant and dangerous weather continues to impact portions of Alabama, and I urge all folks in the path of these tornadoes and storm systems to remain on high alert,” Ivey wrote in the statement. “Tragically, we are receiving reports of loss of life. I offer my sincerest prayers to all impacted. Unfortunately, the day is not over yet. Y’all, please stay safe and vigilant!”
As of Friday afternoon, emergency response crews were continuing to assess damage and assist local residents with cleanup efforts.