(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Two large corporations have offered to pay for the funerals of all 23 victims who died during Sunday's tornadoes in eastern Alabama, according to a FOX Carolina report.
The information was confirmed by Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. He told FOX on Tuesday, "it came out of the blue this afternoon around 5 p.m."
The two national companies, who have remained anonymous, are working out the details with local officials.
Names and ages of all 23 victims who died in what is said to be the deadliest tornado in nearly six years were released this week.
The youngest victim was 5-year-old Armondo Hernandez while 89-year-old Jimmy Lee Jones was the oldest victim. Other victims were:
- 8-year-old Mykala Waldon
- 9-year-old Jonathan Marquez Bowen
- 10-year-old Taylor Thornton
- 22-year-old Felicia Woodall
- 22-year-old Ryan Pence
- 38-year-old Eric Jamal Stenson
- 41-year-old Irma Gomez-Moran
- 53-year-old David Dean
- 53-year-old Emmanuiel Jones
- 57-year-old Maggie Delight Robinson
- 57-year-old Charlotte Ann Miller,
- 59-year-old Marshall Lynn Grimes
- 59-year-old Sheila Creech
- 62-year-old Tresia Robinson
- 63-year-old Florel Tate Stenson
- 63-year-old Raymond Robinson Jr
- 65-year-old Henry Lewis Stenson
- 68-year-old Mamie Roberts Koon
- 69-year-old Vicki Braswell
- 83-year-old Mary Louise Jones
- 86-year-old James Henry Tate
The twister was part of a powerful storm system that slashed its way across the Deep South, spawning numerous tornado warnings in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
The weather service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, posted forecasts for higher tornado activity in the region, three days before the disaster. University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said government forecasters “were all over it.”
An EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 killed 158 people. And an outbreak of tornadoes in the Southeast a month before that left an estimated 316 people dead, including at least 250 in Alabama.
FOX 46 reported this story from Charlotte, NC. The Associated Press contributed to this story.