LOUISVILLE, Miss. —
In Tupelo, crews turned from search-and-rescue efforts to cleanup in parts of the northeastern Mississippi community Tuesday. The buzzing sound of chain saws cut through the otherwise still, hazy morning. Massive oak trees, knocked over like children's toys, blocked some roads.
Neighbors helped one other cut away limbs. Residents, taken aback by the damage, said they prayed that more storms wouldn't hit the city later Tuesday.
Pam Montgomery, 54, walked with her gray Scottish terrier, Ava, in the parking lot of St. Luke's United Methodist church in her neighborhood. "This does not even look like a place that I'm familiar with right now," Montgomery said. "You look down some of the streets and it doesn't even look like there is a street."
Abby Tucker, 27, described the feeling as surreal.
"You see this in movies," she said. "You don't see it in your own backyard."
In Kimberly, Ala., about 20 miles north of Birmingham, a suspected tornado hit at a crossroads before midnight Monday, tearing the A-shaped roof off the town's Church of God. On Tuesday morning, the roof sat in a solid piece beside the red brick church.
Across the street, the cinderblock walls from an old fishing supply store were scattered around the gravel parking lot. The building's metal frame remained. Down the road, the fire department was flattened.
Tim Armstrong picked up pieces of splintered trees in his backyard. Armstrong, his wife and their two young daughters were home when the storm struck. He said they were listening to weather reports on television and heard an all-clear for their area.
"Three minutes later my mother-in-law calls, says there's a tornado in Morris," a nearby town, Armstrong said. "The power went out, and we went running to the middle of the house."