People in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi are waking up to the aftermath of two days of tornadoes that have flattened homes and businesses and killed at least 21 people.
Tens of thousands of people were without power across the central and southern United States Monday. Emergency officials were searching for survivors, even as the ferocious storm system threatened to bring more tornadoes throughout the night in Alabama.
A tornado tore through Tupelo, Mississippi on Monday, damaging hundreds of homes, downing power lines and toppling trees. The storm system later pushed into Athens, Alabama, where two people died.
On Sunday, the suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas were the hardest-hit areas. Officials in the southern state said tornadoes killed at least 15 people there.
President Barack Obama expressed condolences to the victims Monday during a visit to the Philippines, and said the government will help the victims recover and rebuild.
The storm system is hitting on the third anniversary of one of the worst tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, which killed more than 300 people and included nearly 300 reported tornadoes across the nation’s southeast.