BEAUREGARD, Ala. (AP) — Rescue crews using dogs and drones searched for victims amid splintered lumber and twisted metal Monday after the deadliest U.S. tornado in nearly six years ripped through a rural Alabama community. At least 23 people were killed, some of them children.
Dozens were missing in Lee County nearly a day after the twister struck, according to the sheriff, who said that crews had combed the hardest-hit areas but that other places had yet to be searched.
The winds Sunday afternoon obliterated numerous homes, leaving huge, jumbled piles of wood and household belongings. Some homes were reduced to concrete slabs. Debris was scattered across the countryside, with shredded metal hanging from the pine trees.
"I'm not going to be surprised if we don't come up with some more deceased. Hopefully we won't," Coroner Bill Harris said. He said the dead included almost entire families and at least three children, ages 6, 9 and 10.
On the day after the disaster, volunteers used chain saws to clear paths for emergency workers. Neighbors and friends helped one another find some of their belongings in the ruins.
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Carol Dean, right, cries Monday while embraced by Megan Anderson and her 18-month-old daughter Madilyn, as Dean sifts through the debris of the home she shared with her husband, David Wayne Dean, who died when a tornado destroyed the house in Beauregard, Ala. "He was my wedding gift," said Dean of her husband whom she married three years ago. "He was one in a million. He'd send me flowers to work just to let me know he loved me. He'd send me some of the biggest strawberries in the world. I'm not going to be the same."
Debris litters the property of a destroyed home on Lee County Road 63 in Beauregard, Ala., on Monday, the day after a deadly tornado ravaged the area.
Debris from a home litters a yard Monday the day after a tornado blew it off its foundation, lower right, in Beauregard, Ala.
Danny Allen recovers a family photo Monday while sifting through the debris of a friend's home destroyed by a tornado in Beauregard, Ala.
Rescue workers in a four wheeler pass by the wreckage of a home Monday along Lee Road 38 after a Sunday night tornado in Beauregard, Ala.
People gather in front of a home that was damaged Monday during a tornado in Talbotton, Ga.
Residents of Talbotton, Ga., pray together Monday outside a home destroyed by a tornado the day after storms battered Alabama and Georgia.
A lineman unloads a new power pole while a neighbor sharpens a chainsaw blade Monday in an area of tornado destruction in Talbotton, Ga.
Dozens of volunteers help sort donated supplies pouring in from the community and local businesses at the Providence Baptist Church for those affected in nearby Beauregard a day after a tornado on Monday.
Megan Anderson carries her 18-month-old daughter, Madilyn, through the debris of the home belonging to her uncle, David Wayne Dean, who died when a tornado destroyed the house in Beauregard, Ala.
Hunter Lashley searches through the debris that was his home near Beauregard, Ala., on Monday. The mobile home was destroyed by the fatal tornado on Sunday afternoon.
Dorothy Wilborn, seated, is comforted by her sisters, Ruthie Davis, left, and Debbie Hunter, right, in Wilborn's home Monday near Beauregard, Ala.. The home lost its roof in the fatal tornado that struck the area on Sunday afternoon.
Tornado damage overwhelms the landscape Monday near Lee County Road 38 in Beauregard, Ala., a day after tornados ravaged the area.
Destruction is seen Monday from tornadoes that came through Sunday night, killing at least 23 people, in Lee County, Ala.