9 deaths reported as fast-moving tornadoes rattle the South - Tucson News Now

Tornado touches down south of Birmingham, AL

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A wall cloud is seen on the ground near Yazoo City, MS. (Source: @WLBT_DKenney/Twitter) A wall cloud is seen on the ground near Yazoo City, MS. (Source: @WLBT_DKenney/Twitter)
Photo taken in SW Winston County facing the intersection of Mississippi Highway 19 and Highway 25. (Source: @markandertoncfd/Twitter) Photo taken in SW Winston County facing the intersection of Mississippi Highway 19 and Highway 25. (Source: @markandertoncfd/Twitter)
Damage is reported around the northern part of Tupelo, MS. (Source: @TabithaHawk/Twitter) Damage is reported around the northern part of Tupelo, MS. (Source: @TabithaHawk/Twitter)
Residents in north Alabama take shelter as storm cells that already produced one tornado move toward them. (Source: Marie Waxel/WAFF) Residents in north Alabama take shelter as storm cells that already produced one tornado move toward them. (Source: Marie Waxel/WAFF)
The storm threat moves east to the Deep South on Monday, according to NOAA. Pictured is the "convective outlook" as of 12:31 p.m. CT. (Source: NOAA) The storm threat moves east to the Deep South on Monday, according to NOAA. Pictured is the "convective outlook" as of 12:31 p.m. CT. (Source: NOAA)
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(RNN) - A large tornado touched down in Bessemer, just south of Birmingham, AL late Monday, the latest touchdown in day where millions huddled in storm shelters and basements across the South.

In all, at least 11 fatalities have been confirmed in Mississippi and Alabama as a massive, fast-moving severe weather system pushed through the southeast on Monday.

According to a National Weather Service preliminary report, 58 tornadoes were tallied Monday.

Reports of tornadoes continued throughout the night and into the early morning Tuesday across Alabama. Tornado warnings early Tuesday morning included several counties.

As the storm moved into the state, sirens sounded in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, just three years and one day removed from a massive tornado outbreak that devastated the area in 2011.

The Birmingham-area tornado, caught on camera by affiliate WBRC, hit close to UAB Medical West Hospital and continued to track south of the city of Birmingham before weakening.

The extent of the damage is not known, nor are injuries, but an apartment complex in Bessemer was reported to have been badly damaged. The residents had to be rescued, according to WBRC.

In Tuscaloosa, AL, city officials confirmed the likely storm-related death of a 21-year-old man, according to WBRC.

The Associated Press confirmed four deaths southeast of Athens, AL. Another two occurred at a trailer park in Coxey, AL.

A female victim died when their vehicle either hydroplaned or was blown off a road south of Tupelo, MS, according to WMC. Mississippi officials at a late-night press conference with the state's governor said they are working to confirm other storm-related deaths.

Two fatalities were reported by the Lincoln County Medical Center in Tennessee.

There were also reports of damage in Kimberly, AL, north of Birmingham, where a fire department was destroyed, according to the National Weather Service. WBRC reported that a gas station was being used as a triage site.

In Limestone County, AL, the Clements Fire Department and Clements High School took direct hits from the storm.

Affiliate WAFF reported heavy damage to homes in Aroney, AL, in the north part of the state, and in DeKalb County.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a State of Emergency for the entire state. Bentley has also mobilized the Alabama National Guard and placed them on standby.

"Some of our communities have already experienced significant damage as a result of the tornadoes that began moving through Alabama earlier today," Bentley said in a statement. "By issuing a State of Emergency, I am directing all state agencies to take necessary actions to respond to Alabama communities that need help."

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has also declared a State of Emergency in advance of the severe weather.

"At this juncture, we've declared the emergency for the entire state because it's impossible to pinpoint where the weather will hit," Deal said in a statement. "Georgia is threatened at least through [Tuesday] and perhaps into Wednesday. We're prepared now and we'll be ready for recovery should we, God forbid, experience tornado damage or flooding."

Earlier in the day, a large tornado was confirmed near Brandon, MS moving east at 35 mph. The National Weather Service in Jackson, MS confirmed on Twitter a tornado passed south of their office, but tweeted they are "in good shape and fully operational."

A large tornado, three-fourths of a mile wide, was reported near Louisville, MS, shortly after 4:30 p.m. CT. The Weather Channel reported winds of 150 mph above ground with that funnel cloud. According to the Associated Press, 45 people were injured in storms that passed through Louisville, and no deaths have been reported.

In all, 16 counties in Mississippi reported tornado damage, according to Mississippi Emergency Management.

A tornado warning was also issued in North Carolina, as well as severe thunderstorm warnings for storms that could produce golf ball-sized hail and winds up to 60 mph in six North Carolina counties, according to WECT.

There were reports of damage at a marina between Coxey and Athens, AL, as the storm traveled through northwest Alabama, with a rain-wrapped tornado with 165 mph of wind shear, WAFF reported.

Meteorologists at WAFF likened the storms in Alabama to the storm that ripped through Tupelo, MS earlier Monday.

"These storms are not weakening," said WAFF meteorologist Lauren Jones via Twitter. "The atmosphere is very unstable and this threat continues for all areas [in northern Alabama] through the night."

Sunday marked the three-year anniversary of the storms that killed 316 people across the South and Midwest, including the EF-5 tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, AL. A reported 208 tornadoes touched down during that outbreak.

In Mississippi, the Tupleo area appeared to be the hardest hit.

Several tractor-trailers were reportedly blown off of the road at the busy intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and U.S. 45, according to WMC.

The Weather Channel stated "major damage" took place at a shopping mall and other nearby buildings as a result of a severe storm cell. Residents and storm chasers posted pictures of flattened structures on social media sites like Twitter.

"Avoid the Tupelo area at all costs due to major damage," storm spotter Steven Heicher tweeted.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton told CNN that city workers went through an emergency preparedness drill in the morning to get everyone ready.

KSLA confirmed a tornado touched down in Plain Dealing, LA around 3 a.m. Monday morning and damaged several homes.

Warnings were also issued after 2 p.m. for parts of Virginia and Tennessee. Areas around Memphis spent the majority of the day under watches or warnings as well.

People across the Gulf Coast states have been told to brace for severe weather, only one day after deadly storms drove through the Midwest.

The National Weather Service predicted "several tornadoes" for the areas of northern and central Mississippi, northwest Alabama, western and middle Tennessee and extreme northeast Louisiana. It also forecasted states as far west as Iowa and Texas and as far east as the Carolinas could see dangerous weather.

The NWS expected damaging straight-line winds and "very large hail" as well.

On Sunday, 17 people were killed as 31 tornadoes hit several states - 15 died in Arkansas, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma. The towns of Mayflower and Vilonia were the hardest hit; a tornado that peaked at a half-mile wide ripped through them while forming a path 80 miles long.

President Barack Obama made a statement during his visit to the Philippines, offering his deepest condolences to victims and pledging federal resources.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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