Gov. Robert Bentley is deploying about 1,400 Alabama National Guardsmen to provide assistance to the Alabama counties impacted by the severe weather.
Fierce storms that spawned tornadoes roared across the South, killing at least 85 people as they wiped out homes and businesses, forced a nuclear power plant to use backup generators and even prompted the evacuation of a National Weather Service office.
The death toll is expected to rise today after a devastating tornado Wednesday left the north Monroe County community of Smithville in shambles.
Photographers capture images of the devastation from tornadoes in Smithville, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The University of Alabama has canceled classes for Thursday and suspended normal operations on campus after a deadly storm swept through the city.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says the state's death toll from violent storms Tuesday and Wednesday is now more than 30.
Power was slowly being restored to areas of Columbus Wednesday night, allaying rumors that problems with TVA's grid would knock out power for four or more days. Still, power came on sporadically and was spotty in areas.
Power could remain down in Starkville and Columbus at least until tomorrow morning, a TVA spokeswoman said, as the power provider surveys the extent of damage to its grid in the wake of severe storms.
Power was down across the Golden Triangle as tornadoes touched down to the north and south of Columbus. Power was out in Starkville, Columbus and West Point as of 5 p.m. Emergency officials said that TVA was conducting an assessment, and it was unclear when power would return.
At least five people were killed Wednesday as a wave of thunderstorms laced with tornadoes and winds blowing near hurricane force snapped trees, damaged buildings and left more than 260,000 without power across a wide area of Alabama, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Mississippi is the most obese state in the nation, but Republican Gov. Haley Barbour says it doesn't need another layer of bureaucracy to study the issue.
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