Lee County is located on Alabama’s state line shared Georgia, slightly less than halfway down the eastern-facing border. Most widely recognized as the home of the SEC’s Auburn Tigers, Lee’s county seat sits in Auburn, located on the east side of Lee County. Southeast of Auburn is the small, unincorporated town of Beauregard, which was home to a ravaging tornado that claimed that lives of at least 23 people.
The natural disaster was the deadliest of its kind since 2013 here in the United States. Many more people are missing from Beauregard in addition to the confirmed 23 people who perished directly from the tornado’s unfathomably-brutal winds.
According to the National Weather Service, either one or two tornadoes ravaged the region of Lee County on Sunday, March 3, 2019, all but missing the city of Auburn.
The twister was rated as an EF-4 tornado, a classification of the veracity of the natural disasters that usually take place in the United States in the fittingly-named “Tornado Alley” in the Midwest. Winds reached highs of roughly 175 miles per hour.
Tornadoes, which aren’t given human names like their hurricane counterparts (e.g. Hurricane Katrina), often don’t cover as much ground as Sunday’s deadly twister did. The EF-4 tornado ravaged an area roughly one mile wide and 24 miles long, says the National Weather Service’s very own Chris Darden.
The tornado was the deadliest to take place in the United States since 2013, which was was rated at an EF-5, the most veracious classification of tornadoes, that took place in Moore, Oklahoma. The 2013 twister took the lives of 24 people, a mark that Alabama’s most recent tornado could surpass if more people who are currently missing are deemed dead.
Fortunately for the residents of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, the tornado didn’t spill over into any of the three states. The National Weather Service put out severe tornado warnings two days prior to the residents of the four states.
One resident of Beauregard who survived the tornado, Julie Morrison, claimed that she sought shelter in one of her home’s bathrooms as the tornado lifted it clear off of the ground.
The National Weather Service helped many people evacuate from the area before the tornado hit on Sunday, though not all residents took its warnings as reasons to seek shelter elsewhere.