AUTAUGA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) – It’s been one week since an EF-3 tornado tore through Autauga County, killing seven people and damaging or destroying hundreds of homes.
The tornado’s path was almost a mile wide, packing winds of up to 150 mph, and stayed on the ground for an hour and a half.
There is still a lot of widespread damage, but progress is being made to clean up the county.
“Looks like in the next day or two, we’re going to have volunteers going out door-to-door handing out supplies from the donation center, and right now, we’ve got power on to all the homes that can have power, so we’re moving forward,” said County EMA Director Ernie Baggott.
A lot of people are stepping up to help on the local, state, and federal levels.
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville toured the destruction for the first time Thursday alongside EMA Director Ernie Baggott and newly appointed Autauga County Sheriff Mark Harrell.
“This is tough, you know, we lost lives and lost a lot of property and had people hurt, had people displaced,” Tubervillesaid.
He thanked God that more people didn’t get hurt.
“The kids were in school, people were at work, it happened in the middle of the day, and it could’ve been worse, but if you lose one life, it’s really bad, and we lost several, and our prayers go out to them,” Tuberville said.
Now the focus shifts to rebuilding and putting lives back together again.
“There’s a lot of people in this area in Autauga County that’s going to be displaced and going to have to rebuild. It’s just going to be a tough time for them for several years,” Tuberville said.
Tons of volunteers have stepped up left and right to help those impacted, and local churches have opened up as distribution centers.
The main donation hub for Elmore, Autauga, Dallas, and Coosa counties is the Old Russell Building on Highway 14.
Officials urge residents to sign up for FEMA assistance and say to follow up if you get denied.
If you need help with clean up or would like to volunteer, call 2-1-1.