2 Dead as Storms Slap South, Midwest
2 reported dead in Alabama
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2012 7:15 AM CST
This NOAA image taken early today shows widespread cloud cover over the Eastern Valleys as a strong low pressure system moves through the Mid-Mississippi Valley and the western Ohio Valley.   (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

(Newser) – Alabama rescuers are going door-to-door seeking trapped Birmingham-area residents following violent storms in the region that have killed two so far. Tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, with warnings in effect in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, the AP reports. Hail and heavy wind have also slammed Mississippi, Illinois, and Tennessee, where winds reportedly reached 60mph to 70mph.

Some 39,000 saw power outages in Alabama, CNN reports. Homes were reported destroyed near Birmingham, and "there has been heavy damage in areas north of Tuscaloosa," says an official, citing "reports of a roof torn off of a home, several trees down, and lots of power outages." Meanwhile, thousands were without power in Arkansas amid fallen trees and power lines, notes MSNBC.