Southern tornadoes leave at least 6 dead

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Updated Mar 26, 2021 7:19 PM EDT

Nearly two dozen tornadoes left at least six people dead on Thursday, including a family of three. The destruction was widespread with Alabama and Georgia being the hardest hit. 

A reported EF4 tornado touched down in Newnan, Georgia, bringing winds up to 135 miles per hour. The tornado smashed the local high school, ripped the roofs off homes and splintered trees. At least one person was killed. 

Hours earlier, multiple tornadoes barreled through Alabama, killing at least five people in Calhoun County, which is east of Birmingham. 

Fallen trees kept Lenn Keener from driving back to his house after the storm, forcing him to walk through the damage to check on his wife. She survived, but his neighbor died. 

“I got here then that’s when I found the older gentleman up underneath this type of a house down there and I couldn’t get it up off of him,” Keener said. 

A powerful EF3 tornado raked across South Shelby County, shredding homes in the Eagle Point neighborhood. Despite the extensive damage, no one in the neighborhood was killed. 

Carol Tomlin woke up from her nap just in time to hide in her bathroom as a tornado touched down. “I just got in the tub and put the pillows over my over my head and the blanket and just prayed. But I could hear the tree, hear things hitting the house. And the house was shaking.” 

Another round of severe weather could hit tens of millions of storm-weary Americans in the South in the coming days. Powerful thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes could strike as soon as Saturday. 

© 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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