Killer Tornadoes Strike In Alabama, Leaving Dozens Dead, Massive Destruction

[Unedited YouTube version here.]

As the obviously religious man shooting the video suggests, pray for Alabama:

Tornadoes killed dozens of people in Alabama on Wednesday afternoon and evening, part of a violent storm system that left destruction and death across a large swath of the South.

Two major cities, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, were hit hard by one huge tornado. President Barack Obama declared an emergency in Alabama, and Gov. Robert Bentley mobilized 1,400 National Guardsmen to help in rescue operations.

The system of heavy winds, rain and tornadoes began late Tuesday and by Wednesday morning had left at least 17 dead in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Then the latest round of storms hit Alabama on Wednesday afternoon and evening, pushing the death toll much higher. The Associated Press said the toll in Alabama was at least 58. A count by msnbc.com that included county-by-county numbers from The Weather Channel and NBC station WAFF of Huntsville showed at least 62 dead.

The storm system was predicted to move on through the Carolinas.

A giant tornado touched down near the Mississippi state line, then spent more than two hours on the ground tracking northeast. Local TV channels showed the black wedge cloud, estimated at a mile wide, moving through Tuscaloosa, then along Interstate 59 through Birmingham's northern suburbs and just missing the airport.

As you can see from the video above, the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa was monstrous. More from the Tuscaloosa News, which reports that it the twister was "a mile wide".

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