More than a dozen people killed in tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia

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After the 2011 outbreak, which spawned more than 60 tornadoes in Alabama and led to more than 230 fatalities in the state, some communities ordered upgrades to storm shelters, and residents became extraordinarily sensitive about even the threat of poor weather.

At least two people have been killed by a tornado that caused the National Weather Service to declare tornado emergencies Sunday afternoon for parts of Alabama and Georgia as severe storms moved through the South.

The storm left more than 10,000 customers without power, the Birmingham News said, citing the utility Alabama Power. He estimated a path of destruction about half a mile wide stretched several miles to the east from where the tornado touched down.

The East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika said in a statement that it was treating more than 40 patients as a result of the tornado and expected to receive more.

The weather service in Birmingham said several storm survey teams will go out Monday across central Alabama, where significant damage and fatalities were reported in Lee County and other areas were also hard-hit. But he said crews were still surveying damage in several counties in the southwestern part of the state.

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A series of tornado warnings along the Georgia-Alabama border was issued by the National Weather Service on Sunday.

"Please stay out of damaged areas so first responders can do their job", the NWS office said on Twitter.

"We've still got people being pulled out of rubble", Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told Al.com on Sunday evening.

Televised news footage showed smashed buildings with rooftops blown away, cars overturned and debris everywhere. Those injuries were described as minor. A Tornado Watch will be in effect for all six coastal counties until 6 PM this evening.

Harrigan says a squall line moving across the Southeast is entering an area of strong, low-level winds that is conducive to forming tornadoes. The tornado watch also covered a large area of SC, including the cities of Charleston and Columbia.

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