BREWTON, Ala. (CNN) – Two severe storm systems wreaked havoc this weekend. In the Midwest, a dangerous tornado touched down overnight in the Chicago suburbs, and in the South, the deadly Tropical Storm Claudette took at least twelve lives.
The severe storm system also hit Indiana and down south, another path of destruction was left behind by Tropical Depression Claudette. At least 12 people, including 10 children, were killed.
The storm triggered treacherous conditions in southern Alabama where authorities say a hydroplaning car likely set off a chain reaction on the interstate. 8 children, ages 4 to 17, were traveling in a small bus operated by the Alabama Sheriff’s Youth Ranch when it got caught in the pileup. Only the ranch director, who was driving, survived. She lost two of her own children in the crash.
The multi-car crash also killed Cody Fox and his 9-month-old daughter Ariana who were in a separate vehicle.
Alabama Sheriff’s Youth Ranch CEO Michael Smith said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was horrific.”
The storm spurred tornadoes too. One touched down in Brewtown, Alabama, flattening homes, ripping roofs and tossing debris for miles.
Storm victim Alicia Jossey said, “All of a sudden the trees over this way, they kind of just, it was just like they imploded.”
High winds and life-threatening flooding also lead to rescues. Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said they’re still feeling the effects from past storms. “We’re in a situation with a shoreline that is just so decimated at this point it just takes very little high tide wave action into the interior of the island,” he explained.
The lashing in Louisiana washed out streets and pushed water into homes. Slidell, Louisiana resident Sandra Senegal Purdom said, “We had about four inches throughout our entire house, and that happened within about an hour.”
Along the Florida panhandle, strong winds and more flash flood warnings brought rough seas and high surf while fire crews in Georgia rescued a woman trapped inside her car, freeing her from a fallen tree and power lines.
Claudette is still packing a punch before heading out to the Atlantic. Meanwhile back in East Brewton, Alabama, we’ve learned that several people were injured after the storm moved through. One woman says she is lucky to be alive, she says she was sucked out of her home.
© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.