Mother and Her 8-Year-Old Son Killed in Alabama as Tornadoes Sweep Across the South

This aerial image shows roof damage to the Sagewood Apartments after an apparent tornado, in Eutaw, Alabama
This aerial image shows roof damage to the Sagewood Apartments after an apparent tornado, in Eutaw, Alabama

Vasha Hunt/AP/Shutterstock

A mother and her 8-year-old son died after a tornado touched down in Alabama on Wednesday.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency Director Christina Thornton told NBC News that two deaths were reported after a tornado struck Montgomery County around 3:30 a.m. local time.

The boy and his mother — who have been identified as Chiquita Broadnax, 39, and Cedarrius Tell — were found in their home, according to ABC News. Family members told the outlet that the child's father, Cedric Lamar Tell, was injured and taken to the hospital.

A meteorologist told the Associated Press that a total of 73 tornado warnings and 120 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued from late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. According to ABC News, at least 34 tornadoes were reported in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Montgomery Fire Rescue and the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

National Weather Service members survey damage from a possible tornado that left two dead, in Flatwood, Alabama
National Weather Service members survey damage from a possible tornado that left two dead, in Flatwood, Alabama

Butch Dill/AP/Shutterstock

Montgomery County Commission member Isaiah Sankey told Reuters that the mother and son "didn't stand a chance" because the storm was "up upon them" before they got a warning. "It's very devastating," added Sankey.

"The tree fell right slap in the middle of the bed while they were asleep. It fell on the wife and the kid," a family member of the victims told the Associated Press.

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"I was heartbroken to learn that a mom and her eight-year-old son lost their lives as a result of the damaging severe weather here in Alabama," Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted on Wednesday. "I am praying for this family, the Flatwood community and all those across the state affected by the storms."

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The National Weather Service classified the storm as an EF-2 tornado with estimated peak of 115 mph. As of Wednesday, over 38,000 homes in the state were left without power, according to PowerOutage.us. About 6,000 homes in Georgia and another 6,600 in Mississippi were without power as well.

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Additionally, homes, a fire station, and an apartment complex were all destroyed in Mississippi, while a community center was damaged in Alabama, according to the AP.

"We've got mobile homes that were flipped. We've got mobiles homes that had trees fall across them," Montgomery County Sherriff Derrick Cunningham told the outlet. "There is a lot of damage back there."