At least two people died and more than 100 were injured in Alabama after severe thunderstorms pounded the South and Midwest early Monday, leaving thousands without power and prompting tornado warnings in a handful of states.
Authorities identified the dead as a 16-year-old girl from Clay, Ala., and an 82-year-old man who lived in the community of Oak Grove.
A storm system produced a possible tornado that moved across northern Jefferson County around 3:30 a.m., causing damage in Oak Grove, Graysville, Fultondale, Centerpoint, Clay and Trussville, Christian said. He said several homes were destroyed and numerous injuries were reported.
Power outages were also reported for tens of thousands of people, Fox affiliate WBRC-TV reported.
"Some roads are impassable, there are a number of county roads where you have either debris down, trees down, damage from homes," Yasamie Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, told the Associated Press. Jefferson County experienced "significant damage," she said.
Elsewhere in the Birmingham, Ala., area, searchers were going from house-to-house in an effort to rescue people trapped in their homes.
Fire crews were starting the search in Center Point, north of Birmingham, where there were reports of an unknown number of people trapped, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Duty Manager Bob Ammons said.
Rescuers would do "whatever it takes" to get to the residents, Ammons told The Associated Press before dawn Monday.
In Clanton, about 50 miles south of Birmingham, rescuers were responding to reports of a trailer turned over with people trapped, City Clerk Debbie Orange said.
In Arkansas, there were possible tornadoes in Arkansas, Dallas, Lonoke, Prairie and Cleveland counties Sunday night.
The storms also brought hail and strong winds as they moved through parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and Mississippi.
Tornado warnings were issued for parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
National Weather Service forecaster Marlene Mickelson in Memphis, Tenn., told The Associated Press the Memphis area had some damage from winds that reached 60 to 70 mph.