Deaths reported from tornadoes in southern U.S.

Source: WTVA
Published: .
Updated: .

At least three deaths are being reported from severe storms blowing through the South, but the toll could rise.

In north Alabama, Limestone County Emergency Director Rita White said the coroner's office had confirmed two deaths in a twister that caused extensive damage west of the city of Athens.

White says still more victims might be trapped in the wreckage of damaged buildings, but rescuers can't reach some areas because of downed power lines. Separately, Limestone Commissioner Bill Latimer says he has reports from a worker of at least four deaths in the county.

In Mississippi, Lee County Coroner Carolyn Gillentine Green confirms a woman died Monday when her car either hydroplaned or blew off a road during the storm in Verona, south of Tupelo in the northern part of the state.

Don Lewis, chief operations officer for the city, says damage has been reported in several neighborhoods north of Tupelo and emergency crews have spread out to aid residents with recovery.

Areas of western Tupelo also reported some homes damaged and downed trees when the tornado moved past. Forecasters say the tornado sprang for a severe storm front sweeping across the northern part of the state.

Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency Monday in advance of expected storms that forecasters have warned could trigger tornadoes, heavy downpours, damaging hail and flash floods.

WTVA, the NBC affiliate in Tupelo, had to evacuate their studio as the tornado entered city limits. Watch video here.

No one at the station was injured. There's no word on other injuries at this point.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.