At least five people were killed by tornadoes that swept through Alabama on Thursday and dozens of counties across six states remained under tornado warnings as night fell.
Although tornado watches formally ended for central Alabama on Thursday evening, much of the state — as well as swathes of Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and even counties in southern Illinois and Indiana — still faced less severe tornado warnings.
Nearly 20,000 people remained without power in Alabama as of Thursday night, according to a tally by NBC News.
Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown confirmed the deaths of five residents: an adult family of three in a wood frame home, and two adults in mobile homes.
Governor Kay Ivey said she offers her “sincerest prayers to all impacted” and urged Alabamans to continue to be vigilant in the face of severe weather.
“Y’all, please stay safe and vigilant!”
Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service’s Birmingham station reported a large tornado in Hale County shortly after 4:30 p.m. and advised residents to “TAKE COVER NOW!”
The Pelham Police Department announced that a tornado had caused “extensive” damage to the Crosscreek subdivision south of Birmingham, and shared images of downed power lines and a home with a mostly destroyed roof.
Pelham Police Officer Ainsley Allison took to Facebook Live to urge local residents to stay off the roads so emergency response vehicles could access the damaged neighborhoods.
Around 30 to 50 structures were destroyed were destroyed in the city, officials said.
Drone footage from AerialScouts, LLC, also showed extensive damage in Pelham.
Approximately 16,000 customers were without power as of Thursday afternoon, according to a count by NBC News.
According to NBC News affiliate WVTM, extensive damage was reported in the Eagle Point area of Birmingham.
Tornado watches were first issued Thursday morning for dozens of Alabama counties, WVTM reported, and multiple tornado warnings remain in effect for several counties in northern and central Alabama as of Thursday afternoon.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.