FIVE people died as tornadoes ripped through Alabama for the second time in a week, and 50million remain at risk throughout the South.
On Thursday afternoon, there was a lingering threat in Alabama of “violent” and “long-track” twisters as homes in some areas around Birmingham have been completely destroyed.
“Violent” twisters means that the winds could get to 166mph or higher, and “long-track” means that they could be on the ground for 25 miles or more.
ABC 33/40 News reported that there were at least five confirmed deaths in Calhoun County, four of those being in Ohatchee.
The outlet reported that three of the people killed in Ohatchee were from one family.
Shocking photos from the aftermath of Thursday twisters show homes completely torn apart.
The first reported tornado hit just after noon in Moundville, Alabama. The devastation comes just eight days after another tornado was confirmed in the area.
Another was reported less than two hours later in Vandiver, near Birmingham.
The National Weather Service confirmed that another had touched down in Hale County just after 5pm.
Alabama’s Gov Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 46 counties.
Gov Kay released a statement around 6pm on Thursday confirming the reports of lost life and urging those in at-risk counties to remain vigilant.
“Significant and dangerous weather continues to impact portions of Alabama, and I urge all folks in the path of these tornadoes and storm systems to remain on high alert,” Kay said.
“Tragically, we are receiving reports of loss of life. I offer my sincerest prayers to all impacted. Unfortunately, the day is not over yet. Y’all, please stay safe and vigilant!”
In Mississippi, dozens of people have taken shelter at an elementary school in Lowndes County in anticipation of the severe weather, and two other schools in the county are also open to take people in.
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Intense thunderstorms are also expected to last into Thursday evening across parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and much of Tennessee.
In Tennessee and Kentucky, damaging winds that could get up to 80mph are expected.
The severe weather is reportedly expected to begin to move out of the area late Thursday.