In Lee County, Alabama, where some of the worst damage was reported, more than 150 people were conducting search-and-rescue operations near the communities of Smiths Station and Beauregard, which is about 60 miles east of Montgomery, said Rita Smith, a spokeswoman for the county's emergency management agency.
Numerous tornado warnings were posted across parts of Alabama and Georgia on Sunday as a severe storm system churned across the Deep South.
An 8-year-old girl and at least thirteen other people have fallen victim to a tornado that swept through Lee County, Alabama, on Sunday, the county sheriff has confirmed.
Severe storms destroyed mobile homes, snapped trees and left a trail of destruction amid weather warnings extending into Georgia, Florida and SC, authorities said. Trees all around had been snapped bare of branches. "From what I understand it was minor injuries, though one fellow did say his leg might be broken".
Several people have been taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Jones said.
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The NWS added Columbia and Dentsville to the tornado watch just after 7 p.m., with a tweet that said the warning is to 7:45 p.m.
Sheriff Jones described the damage as "catastrophic", saying one tornado cut a path of destruction quarter of a mile (0.4km) wide and several miles long.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey warned residents more severe weather might be on the way. But emergency crews and others said they would be out through the night coping with the devastation left behind. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
Authorities said a tornado was confirmed by radar in the Florida Panhandle late Sunday afternoon. "It's a favorable environment for tornados". A Tornado Watch will be in effect for all six coastal counties until 6 PM this evening.
More than a dozen people have been confirmed dead after a series of tornadoes touched down in Alabama and Georgia on Sunday afternoon.