(Reuters) -At least six people were killed in central Alabama on Thursday as thunderstorms and at least one tornado swept through the region, local officials said.
An Autauga County Sheriff’s spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that six people had died in the storm, but she said she had no further details.
“I am sad to have learned that six Alabamians were lost to the storms that ravaged across our state. My prayers are with their loved ones and communities. We are far too familiar with devastating weather, but our people are resilient. We will get through it and be stronger for it,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said on Twitter.
Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber said that at least four people had been killed by flying debris hurled by the tornado. Barber said he had no further formation on the deceased.
Ivey on Thursday declared a state of emergency for six Alabama counties hit hardest by the storm: Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore and Tallapoosa.
The high winds and heavy rain damaged homes and left tens of thousands of customers without power in parts of Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.
More than 250 flights were canceled or delayed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.