Pope prays for Alabama tornado victims as Trump prepares to visit

Alabama Tornado Kills At Least 22, More Still Missing

As of Monday evening, Bunting said it was still unclear whether two tornadoes had hit Alabama.

On Friday, a funeral will be held for the youngest tornado victim, Armando "A.J".

Smith said it's "mind blowing" she survived.

That made conditions especially harrowing for first responders, who were already on their way into the region in the wake of the first storm while the second was already bearing down on the region. Air Force One first landed at a military base along the Georgia border, where Trump boarded a helicopter for an aerial tour of some of the damage.

The National Weather Service said one and possibly two tornadoes struck the area, with a powerful EF-4 twister with winds estimated at 170 miles per hour (274 kph) blamed for most of the destruction.

"It's bad", the governor told reporters Wednesday as she took a walking tour past shattered mobile homes as residents hunted amid piles of debris for belongings they could salvage.

"As residents of Alabama and members of the broadcast community, we are devastated by the loss of life and the many homes, businesses and churches destroyed by tornadoes this Sunday", said Sharon M. Tinsley, Alabama Broadcasters Association President. Lee County, Ala. Sheriff Jay Jones said at a news conference Monday morning that he anticipated that the death toll would rise.

"I know that Auburn and its leadership both in athletics and the university are working diligently right now to form some action plans to be able to respond, not only short-term but long-term to help our community to rebuild and to heal", Pearl said, via WVTM. He said his office is making sure that survivors and people who want to help are not scammed. "We're basically using everything we can get our hands on", the sheriff said.

Dozens of people were injured, with 77 patients from areas affected by the tornadoes hospitalized on Sunday.

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Their schedule in Lee County is unknown.

Four remained hospitalized Thursday in ICUs in Columbus, Birmingham and Opelika.

"He had them squeezed tight, and he said when it came through, it just took them", Crisp said.

"Mobile homes are of very poor quality build and they don't have basements, so you can't get to a basement shelter", said Stokoe.

President Donald Trump tweeted: "To the great people of Alabama and surrounding areas: Please be careful and safe".

"Everybody in this area just about was related", said Demetria Jones, 28. The so-called Fujita scale measures wind speed and the corresponding destructive power of a tornado.

Federal funding is also available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organisations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Lee County.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency in Grady, Harris and Talbot counties, in the southern part of the state, where he said nearly two dozen homes were destroyed and up to 40 sustained damage.