At least six people have died in Alabama tornadoes, according to local authorities who say they are “still looking for bodies.” bbc.com.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported more than 35 tornadoes across the southern US on Thursday, putting more than 30 million people at risk.
A “large and extremely dangerous tornado” caused extensive damage in Selma, Alabama, according to the NWS.
The storms caused power outages for thousands of people in four states.
By Thursday evening, more than 147,000 residents of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas were without power, according to Poweroutages.us.
The inclement weather is forecast to continue into the night.
All recorded tornado deaths in Alabama have occurred in Otauga County, located between the downtown cities of Montgomery and Selma.
“We’ve had several deaths and we’re still looking for bodies,” Otauga County Coroner Buster Barber told CNN.
At 12:53 pm CST (1853 GMT), the NWS office in Birmingham warned that a “tornado emergency” had been declared in Otauga County.
Radar tracking the storm detected debris that was lifted and blown 20,000 feet (6,100 m) into the air, according to the NWS.
The governors of Alabama and Georgia signed emergency declarations.
Strong winds also caused severe structural damage to buildings in Georgia and Mississippi, a video posted online shows.
Temperatures in Alabama are forecast to drop below freezing in the coming days, with a chance of snow Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the country, California, a series of severe storms hit, causing flooding, landslides and power outages. At least 18 people died there due to severe weather.
After a brief respite Thursday, officials in California say more storms are forecast to intensify Friday night and over the weekend.
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