LOUISVILLE, Miss. —
They heard the wind roaring and glass shattering as a tree flew through their front door. "Once I heard that, I knew something was pretty wrong. It was fast. It was so fast."
The whole thing was over a minute later, he said.
In northern Alabama, the coroner's office confirmed two deaths in a twister that caused extensive damage west of the city of Athens, Limestone County Emergency Director Rita White. In Tuscaloosa, officials said a University of Alabama student died when he took shelter in the basement of a home near campus and a retaining wall collapsed on him.
The threat of dangerous weather jangled nerves a day after the third anniversary of a historic outbreak of more than 60 tornadoes that killed more than 250 people across Alabama on April 27, 2011.
Separately, Limestone Commissioner Bill Latimer said he received reports of four deaths in the county from one of his workers. Neither the governor's office nor state emergency officials could immediately confirm those deaths.
In southern Tennessee, two people were killed in a home when a suspected tornado hit Monday night, Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Mike Hall said. The winds destroyed several other homes as well as a middle school in the county that borders Alabama, Hall said.
The storm system is the latest onslaught of severe weather a day after a half-mile-wide tornado carved an 80-mile path of destruction through the suburbs of Little Rock, Ark., killing at least 15. Tornadoes or severe storms also killed one person each in Oklahoma and Iowa on Sunday.
Sainz reported from Tupelo, Miss. Associated Press writers Jack Elliott Jr. and Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Miss; Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans; Jay Reeves in Kimberly, Ala.; Phillip Lucas in Atlanta; and Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., contributed to this report. AP Photographer Butch Dill in Fayette, Ala., also contributed.