- Two anonymous donors have agreed to pay for the funerals of the 23 victims who were killed by a devastating tornado that tore through Alabama over the weekend.
- The victims ranged in age from 6 to 89, with the youngest victim described by his aunt on Facebook as “a precious little man loved by everyone.”
- Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said officials are still searching the wreckage for missing people.
- President Trump said that he will be travelling to Alabama on Friday to meet with victims.
Two anonymous corporations have agreed to pay for the funerals of the 23 victims killed by a tornado that ripped through Alabama over the weekend.
“I got a phone call from an individual that said, if the details get worked out, there’s a very large corporation that will probably pay most, if not all, of the cost of every victim’s funeral,” Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told WTVM’s Jason Dennis on Tuesday night. “I got another call from another company that will do the same thing. So, between the two, these expenses, which can be up into the thousands, will probably be covered by these two companies.”
Harris said during a news conference that victims ranged in age from 6 to 89, with one family losing 10 members to the storm,according to the Associated Press. Four of the victims were children, aged 6, 8, 9, and 10.
— Jeremy Gray (@jgray78) March 5, 2019
One of the children, identified Monday as 10-year-old Taylor Thornton, was described to CNN as “a sweet child who was constantly happy,” by Dr. Stan Cox, head of the Lee-Scott Academy where Thornton attended school. “People were better because they were with her and now our school feels empty without her.”
Tina Melton, the aunt of 6-year-old AJ Hernandez, wrote on Facebook about her sadness over the loss of her nephew. She described him as, “a precious little man loved by everyone. I will miss your little smile and your sweet voice and face.”
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones acknowledged during a press conference with reporters that several people were still unaccounted for, and the death toll could rise as search and rescue efforts continue. The Sheriff’s Office thanked the anonymous corporate donors paying for victims’ funerals on Facebook, writing, “What a wonderful blessing this will be for the families who have lost loved ones.”
What a wonderful blessing this will be for the families who have lost loved ones! To these corporations we thank you! https://t.co/b1NX50c2tD
— LeeCo Sheriff AL (@lcsoal) March 6, 2019
The Alabama tornado was part of a larger storm system that hit the region over the weekend, with tornado warnings also reported in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. On Monday, Donald Trump tweeted that Alabama would get “A Plus treatment” from FEMA, the federal disaster management agency. During a veterans event at the White House, he added that he will be travelling to Alabama on Friday to visit victims.
Dennis, of WTVM, took to Facebook on Tuesday to share the news about the anonymous donors. “Good news.. as the sun set tonight on the wreckage still left behind in Alabama,” he wrote.
- Read more:
- ‘It sounded like a freight train’: Alabama resident describes the moment a tornado that killed at least 23 people ripped through his property
- At least 23 dead after tornado sweeps through Alabama
- Dozens of people are missing, feared dead, in Alabama, 2 days after devastating tornadoes killed at least 23
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