Tornado outbreak kills more than 50

Wednesday, February 6th 2008, 9:17 am
By: News 9 and the Associated Press

At least 50 people are dead after tornadoes ripped through the South on Tuesday night, emergency officials said. Rescue crews said the number killed could rise as crews continue door-to-door searches. 

Greg Carbin, a spokesperson from the Storm Prediction Center, ranked the Super Tuesday Outbreak in the top 15 worst tornado outbreaks. Carbin said he ranked the outbreak based on the number of deaths, not the number of tornadoes. The Super Tuesday Outbreak was ranked as the 15th worst outbreak, worse than the May 1993 outbreak. Click HERE to view Carbin's list.

The National Weather Service has posted tornado watches for parts of southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and western Georgia, but the storm system that spawned a deadly cluster of tornadoes in five Southern states overnight appears to be weakening as it moves eastward.

Rescue crews, some with the help of the National Guard, have been going door-to-door looking for victims in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama.

Residents have been trying to salvage what they can from homes reduced to piles of debris.

In Washington, President Bush said he called the governors of the five states to assure them the administration was ready to help and to deal with any emergency requests. He said those affected should "know the American people are standing with them."

The loss of life was most severe in Tennessee, where 26 people were killed. Emergency officials said 13 were killed in Arkansas, seven in Kentucky and four in Alabama.