A string of deadly tornadoes roared through Alabama on Thursday, toppling trees, demolishing homes and knocking out power to thousands, part of a broad swath of violent weather sweeping across the Deep South, the AP reports. At least five fatalities and an unknown number of injuries were reported. The confirmed deaths were in Calhoun County, in the eastern part of the state, where one of multiple twisters sprang from a “super cell” of storms that later moved into Georgia, said John De Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. Pat Lindsey, a resident of the county's hard-hit town of Ohatchee, told the AP that a neighbor of his was killed when a twister destroyed his mobile home. “He was good as gold,” Lindsey said.
As many as eight tornadoes might have hit the state on Thursday, De Block said. Search and rescue efforts were complicated by strong weather that continued to rake across the region. More than 35,000 customers were without power in Alabama. While Alabama was bearing the worst of Thursday's weather, forecasters warned of dangerous thunderstorms, flash floods and possible twisters from eastern Mississippi into western Georgia, and northward into Tennessee and Kentucky. Also, flash flood warnings and watches extended to the western Carolinas. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an emergency declaration for 46 counties as the severe weather approached, and officials opened shelters in and around Birmingham.
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