A tornado roared into southeast Alabama and killed at least 23 people and injured several others Sunday, part of a severe storm system that caused catastrophic damage and unleashed other tornadoes around the Southeast.

“Unfortunately our toll, as far as fatalities, does stand at 23 at the current time,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL-TV of the death toll. He added that two people were in intensive care.

Drones flying overheard equipped with heat-seeking devices had scanned the area for survivors but the dangerous conditions halted the search late Sunday, Jones said. “The devastation is incredible,” he said. An intense ground search would resume Monday morning.

Jones said the twister traveled straight down a county road in the rural community of Beauregard and that the path of damage and destruction appeared at least a half mile wide. He said single-family homes and mobile homes were destroyed, adding some homes were reduced to slabs. He had told reporters earlier that several people were taken to hospitals, some with “very serious injuries.”

The National Weather Service confirmed late Sunday a tornado with at least an F3 rating and a track at least half a mile (.8 kilometers) wide caused the deadly destruction in Alabama.

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