South Rocked by Severe Storms
(Wall Street Journal) — At least 128 people died in Alabama when a storm unleashed tornadoes and flash floods. with some of the heaviest damage reported from a university town. Mississippi reported 32 deaths. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, officials approved plans to blow up a levee, flooding farms but saving towns, should waters continue to rise at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Powerful storms raged through the South, uprooting trees, knocking over houses and ripping down power lines. Swaths of Tuscaloosa, Ala., home to the University of Alabama, were reduced to rubble by a tornado reported to be a mile wide, the Associated Press reported. Fifteen people died there. “The city experienced widespread damage from a tornado that cut a path of destruction deep into the heart of the city,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said in a statement. Late Wednesday, President Barack Obama authorized emergency federal assistance for Alabama.