Alabama may face more severe weather this weekend as it digs out from last Sunday's tornadoes

23 people killed in last weekend's storms

By CNN'S JOE STERLING AND MADISON PARK CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
Reuters via CNN

More severe weather is possible this weekend in the Southeast, including the part of Alabama where residents are still mourning 23 people killed when tornadoes lashed the region on Sunday.

(CNN) - In Alabama, they're still digging through rubble, cleaning up and mourning the 23 people killed by last Sunday's tornadoes.

But their troubles may not be over.

Another round of severe weather is possible this weekend in the Southeast, including central Alabama, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said Thursday.

"Areas hit hard last weekend from the storms and tornadoes will again be at risk," Hennen said Thursday. "Damaging winds and even a few tornadoes are possible."

Strong storms will develop Saturday over Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana and move quickly east, bringing the threat for severe weather over much of the Southeast on Saturday, he said.

The greatest chance of severe storms will come Saturday afternoon into the evening for the southern Mississippi Valley. The storms will move to the east on Sunday, affecting portions of Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas, Hennen said.

President Trump is scheduled to visit Alabama on Friday and tour the devastated areas. Details of his trip were not immediately available.

He will see large swaths of flattened trees and houses reduced to a few walls or the foundation. The damage was so widespread that authorities are still measuring the severity.

On Thursday, the number of tornadoes that hit Alabama on March 3 was raised to 12, Chris Darden of the National Weather Service office in Birmingham said at a news conference. About 30 tornadoes hammered the Southeast that day, he said.

Survivors and families who lost loved ones are being embraced

The strongest tornado was the EF-4 that left 23 people dead in Lee County.

That storm attacked with 170 mph winds and had a "damage path" that was 26.73 miles long and 1,600 yards wide, the weather service said on its web page.

The last tornado with such a high toll was an EF-5 storm in Moore, Oklahoma, that killed 24 people in May 2013.

Alabama US Sen. Doug Jones, speaking at the same news conference, said residents should keep their guard up.

"This is the deadliest tornado in Alabama in a long time -- in March," he said. "What that means is that we may have more down the road. It's usually April when we see these devastating tornadoes."

Alabama has seen worse tornadoes. The Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado struck April 27, 2011, and killed more than 200 people.

Scientists have noticed an increased frequency of tornadoes in the Southeast, carving a deadly path in what's called Dixie Alley.

Even though there are fewer tornadoes in Dixie Alley than in Tornado Alley, there have been more deaths in the Mid-South/Southeast region. It's because now the storms are coming into more populated areas.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said those who died ranged in age from 6 to 89. Four were children. Funeral costs for all the tornado fatalities will be covered by corporations that pledged to pay for them.

Dozens of people also were injured. Harris said four injured people are still in hospital intensive care units.

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