Tornadoes and storms ripped through several Alabama towns on Sunday, killing at least 23 people, severely injuring others, and leaving a hellscape of wreckage in their wake, authorities said.
The death included children, officials said.
“We’ve still got people being pulled out of rubble,” Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told AL.com. “We’re going to be here all night.”
Darkness hindered rescue operations.
“We’ve done everything we feel like we can do this evening. The area is just very, very hazardous to put anybody in to at this point in time —debris everywhere and it’s just some mass damage to structures and residences in the area,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WSFA-TV.
The worst damage appeared to be in Lee County east of Montgomery.
Footage showed fields of debris where houses and businesses once stood, metal wrapped around utility poles, huge trees torn out by their roots and vehicles flipped over like toy cars.
“Debris is just everywhere,” Scott Fillmer, who lives outside Beauregard, wrote on Twitter. “Parts to people’s houses, random mattress in our driveway, trees down everywhere I can look, power lines down everywhere.”
The airport and fire department in Eufaula were demolished.
“I cannot recall, at least in the last 50 years, and longer than that, a situation where we have had this type, this loss of life that we experienced today,” Jones told CBS News.