No deaths had been reported Sunday evening from storm-damaged Alabama counties outside Lee County, said Gregory Robinson, spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
It appeared Sunday evening that two tornadoes hit Lee County back-to-back within the span of one hour, CNN Meteorologist Gene Norman said.
The first tornado watches were issued around noon, but were expected to remain in place for parts of Georgia and SC through 11 p.m. ET Sunday, Norman said.
Sunday marks the deadliest day for tornadoes in the US since January 22, 2017 when 16 people were killed in South Georgia, according to the Weather Channel. Pieces of metal debris and tree branches littered the roadside. "From what I understand it was minor injuries, though one fellow did say his leg might be broken". But emergency crews and others said they would be out through the night coping with the devastation left behind.
"I can say that at this time we have 14 confirmed fatalities", Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL-TV.
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Early damage reports from the storm includes downed trees and limbs, standing water in roadways, according to tweets from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.
It's possible that we could have a few strong to severe storms today, but the greatest risk for severe weather is to our north and east.
Large-scale search and rescue operations have been launched in Lee County, where officials reported multiple injuries.
Authorities said a tornado was confirmed by radar in the Florida Panhandle. The first tornado warnings for the area were issued at 1:58 p.m.
A Tornado Watch is in effect until 6 p.m. The tornado watch also covered a large area of SC, including the cities of Charleston and Columbia.
The tornadoes touched down amid a severe weather outbreak across the southeastern United States, according to the National Weather Service.