Thursday, National Weather Service officials out of Mobile traveled to Covington County to determine if Wednesday’s storm damage was the result of a tornado.
Those officials took particular interest in a half-dozen demolished chicken houses between Andalusia and Opp.
Wednesday’s ferocious weather ripped and twisted the tin roofs off chicken houses in Covington County’s tiny Babbie community.
The chief meteorologist in the Mobile Office of the National Weather Service, Randy McKee, examined the damage with local officials to determine if it was straight line winds, or a tornado. "It looks like it was a tornado judging by an eyewitness and the damage, possibly an F-2 with winds of 100 to 150 miles per hour," he explains.
Tens-of-thousands of chickens are trapped underneath the wreckage. Losses could surpass 60,000 birds:
People there say crews are working feverishly with the dropping mercury to try and save as many chickens as possible.
For the dead birds, the Covington County EMA Director Kristi Stamnes says permission must be granted by the state health department before they can be buried. "We've never had so many dead birds on such a wide scale. We are looking into it to dispose of the birds the proper way," she says.
One nearby resident says the damage on the poultry farm could exceed $2 million dollars.