Authorities: Tornadoes kill at least 9 in deadly march across South as residents take cover

After spawning deadly tornadoes that flattened homes and businesses in Alabama and Mississippi, a storm system that also caused havoc in the Midwest has Georgia in its sights early Tuesday.

At least nine people in the South were killed Monday, bringing the overall death toll from two days of severe weather to at least 26.

In Mississippi, Republican state Sen. Giles Ward huddled in a bathroom with his wife, four other family members and their dog Monday as a tornado destroyed his two-story house.

Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, which did not report tornadoes but was slammed with storms. Thousands more hunkered down in basements and shelters as The National Weather Service issued watches and warnings for more tornadoes throughout the night.