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Southern storms claim lives

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Southern storms claim lives

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) — Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South today, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 234 people in six states.
The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where as many as 149 people perished, although Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters there were 131 confirmed deaths.

Entire neighbourhoods were leveled and hundreds of thousands of people were without power in the affected regions. Alabama Power said 363,511 customers had no electricity, and as of while about 61,000 people in Georgia were without power, according to Georgia Power and the Georgia Electric Membership Corp. Bentley estimated as many as half a million to a million people had no electricity in Alabama.
“This could be one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in the nation’s history by the time it’s over,” CNN Meteorologist Sean Morris said.
Long before the death toll mushroomed, governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia had declared states of emergency within their borders. Virginia followed suit today. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he was asking for a statewide emergency declaration.