A weather service meteorologist says Enterprise High was right in the path of what turned out to be a “very bad storm”. The apparent tornado ripped off the roof of the high school, trapping students inside. The school had originally planned to release the teenagers early, but decided against that, thinking the students would be safer in the building than on buses headed home.
The same storm also caused major damage in downtown Enterprise. More than forty people were rushed to the town hospital for injuries received during the twister. One other Enterprise resident died in the tornado.
The other storm death (the tenth) happened in Miller’s Ferry in Wilcox County. There an apparent tornado uprooted trees, flipped over trailer homes and caused extensive damage. There are reports of a tornado also touching down in Adamsville, in Jefferson County, but that has yet to be confirmed. And no injuries have been reported there.
Late yesterday afternoon Governor Bob Riley declared a state of emergency for Alabama because of the severe weather. This paves the way for any state or federal aid needed in the rebuilding of the communities torn apart by the storms. The governor was expected to tour the damage in Enterprise Friday. President Bush visited the area Saturday.
Including the Alabama death toll, the band of storms is blamed for 20 deaths in the Midwest and Southeast. Nine people in Georgia died when the weather system moved into that state. Earlier in the day a seven-year-old Missouri girl died when a tornado ripped apart the mobile home she shared with her family in a rural, wooded part of Missouri.
Because of the severe weather WBHM was forced to interrupt its regular programming to bring you updates on warnings and watches. If there’s something you would like to listen to in its entirety you can find it at the show’s website.