PICTURED: Six-year-old boy among the 23 people killed by tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and Georgia, destroyed hundreds of homes and have left over 40,000 without power

Monday, March 4, 2019
By Paul Martin

At least 23 people were killed when tornadoes struck southeastern Alabama on Sunday afternoon
An intense ground search resumed Monday morning as officials say they expect the death toll to rise
Among the fatalities was six-year-old Armando Hernandez, who was separated from his mother in Beauregard
Local media outlets report that an eight-year-old girl from Beauregard was also killed
Storms tore across parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, leaving 40,000 without power

4 March 2019

A six-year-old boy has been identified as one of the 23 people who were killed by the tornadoes that hit Alabama on Sunday.

Armando Hernandez, known as AJ, became separated from his mother in Beauregard when the tornado struck and was later found dead.

His mother, Kayla Melton, had earlier appealed for information on his whereabouts on Facebook, writing: ‘Please look for my baby hes 6 years old his name is Armando Hernandez he goes by AJ last seen on lee road 38. Anyone in the area please help me find him please!!!!!’

His death was later confirmed by friends and family on social media.

Relative Tina Melton wrote on Facebook: ‘Little AJ didn’t make it. He was found but he didn’t survive… He was always eager to give hugs and loved his family.

‘They are headed to the children’s hospital with his brother. They also lost their home in the tornado with all belongings. Fly high AJ. You have your wings!’

Lee County coroner confirmed at least 23 people had died, and family members told WSFA 12 another of the fatalities in Beauregard was a child – an eight-year-old girl.

An intense ground search resumed Monday morning as officials say they expect the death toll to rise.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told reporters that crews are committed to finding everyone reported missing or possibly trapped in the rubble.

Jones said most of the victims have been identified, but officials are waiting until relatives are notified before releasing their names.

At least two tornadoes touched down in Lee County on Sunday as wind speeds between 136mph and 165mph left an extensive path of destruction along a key local artery in Beauregard.

The twisters were part of a powerful storm system that tore across parts of Alabama Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, leaving thousands without power.

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