Links additional photos. With AP Photos. He did not immediately return phone messages from The Associated Press. One trained canine had been brought into the area to help the operations.
Across the state, more than 16,000 residents lost electricity. Pieces of metal debris and tree branches littered the roadside. Weather warnings extended into Georgia, Florida and SC.
ABC affiliate in Georgia, WTVM, reported that a gas station in Lee County has been severely affected by the tornado, as well other structures in its vicinity. Search and rescue efforts were continuing. He had told reporters earlier that several people were taken to hospitals, some with "very serious injuries". He didn't elaborate on the exact number of those missing.
Weather officials say an outbreak of tornadoes occurred Sunday afternoon across a wide area of the Southeast as severe storms crossed the region.
Trees throughout Alabama were knocked over by the tornado.
Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said that the death toll could rise. "We're going to be here all night".
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has also extended the state of emergency she issued on February 23 to cover the entire state. But he said crews were still surveying damage in several counties in the southwestern part of the state.
There will be a risk of strong to severe storms across all of southwest Alabama today, according to the National Weather Service in Mobile.
A fallen cell tower lies across U.S. Route 280 highway in Lee County, Ala., in the Smiths Station community after what appeared to be a tornado struck in the area.More news: Trump, Kim fail to reach agreement at Hanoi Summit
Authorities said a tornado was confirmed by radar in the Florida Panhandle late Sunday afternoon. He says the threat of more tornadoes will continue for several hours as the storm system races toward the Atlantic seaboard. They are doing a phenomenal job.
Most of the damage was reported near Beauregard, and there were two confirmed fatalities in that area.
She said multiple homes had been destroyed or damaged in Beauregard, a community about 60 miles (95km) east of Montgomery, the state capital.
The first tornado watches were issued around noon, but were expected to remain in place for parts of Georgia and SC through 11 p.m. ET Sunday, Norman said.
The National Weather Service announced just before 5 p.m. they would be sending out three survey teams on Monday to survey the damage from the Lee County tornado, as well as tornadoes in Autauga, Macon, and Barbour Counties.
Scattered to numerous storms will be possible from this morning through the afternoon.
Sheriff Jay Jones of Lee County said in an interview with CNN that 14 people were killed.
Sunday marks the deadliest day for tornadoes in the US since January 22, 2017 when 16 people were killed in South Georgia, according to the Weather Channel.