U.S.

'God Bless You All!': Donald Trump Warns of More Tornadoes as Thousands Without Power in Freezing Temperatures

President Donald Trump expressed his condolences for the victims of a string of devastating tornadoes that hit Alabama, Georgia and Florida on Sunday.

At least 23 people were killed, children among them. All the fatalities were within Alabama, while several people were injured in Georgia.

The president took to Twitter on Sunday evening to offer prayers to those affected by the storms, telling residents to be vigilant against any more extreme weather.

“To the great people of Alabama and surrounding areas: Please be careful and safe,” Trump wrote. “Tornadoes and storms were truly violent and more could be coming. To the families and friends of the victims, and to the injured, God bless you all!”

The tornadoes ripped down power lines in Alabama and Georgia, leaving tens of thousands without power and facing a night of freezing temperatures without heating.

Michael Sznajderman, a spokesman for the utility firm Alabama Power, told Reuters that 17,000 Alabamians were initially left without power, and crews were able to restore service to all but 6,000 by around 9 p.m. EST Sunday. As of early Monday morning, around 3,000 customers were still without power, according to PowerOutage.US.

In Georgia, around 21,000 lost power after the storms, Georgia Power spokeswoman Meredith Stone said. PowerOutage.US said more than 7,000 customers were still without power as of Monday morning.

AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski told Reuters that residents of central Georgia and most of Alabama were facing temperatures below 40 F. “Those without power who rely on electric heat need to find ways to stay warm,” Pydynowski said.

The outbreak of tornadoes was America’s worst in six years, according to The Washington Post. Two separate deadly twisters tore through Alabama’s Lee County on Sunday afternoon.

One, a large, wedge-shaped funnel, was at least a half mile wide and believed to be rated an EF-3 event, meaning its wind speeds were between 136 and 165 mph. The tornado hit an area around the town of Beauregard.

Though the death toll currently stands at 23, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones warned that that number was likely to increase as recovery efforts continued. Jones told the Post that some people were still missing, while others had been taken to hospital with “very serious injuries.”

Jones told CNN Sunday: “The challenge is the sheer volume of the debris where all the homes were located…It’s the most I’ve seen that I can recall.” The sheriff told WRBL-TV he could not recall any time “in the last 50 years, maybe even longer than that, a situation where we have had this loss of life.”

Residents of Talbotton, Georgia, saw at least six people injured in the storms. Leigh Ann Erenheim, director of the Talbot County Emergency Management Agency, told the Associated Press that “between six and eight injuries” had been reported. Though all appeared to be minor, one person said “his leg might be broken,” according to Erenheim.

Other tornadoes were reported in Macon and Cairo, Georgia, and in Walton County, Florida. No casualties were reported in those incidents.

GettyImages-1128606373 The shattered remains of homes are seen in Beauregard after a tornado killed at least 23 people in Alabama. Tami Chappell /AFP

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