The Nation

Apr 28, 2011 2:18 PM by Greg Boyce

Death toll now at 162 in Alabama

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say the death toll in Alabama has risen to 162 after a storm that spawned dozens of tornadoes pummeled the South, obliterating towns across six states.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said in a news release Thursday that the total confirmed dead in the state had risen to 162.  Deaths across the region totaled at least 248. People also were killed in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and Mississippi.

It was the deadliest tornado outbreak in nearly 40 years.

The mayor of Tuscaloosa says the tornado that struck the town yesterday tore a streak perhaps four miles long and a half mile wide of "utter destruction."

There are at least 36 people dead in and around the city. The mayor says some neighborhoods have been "basically removed from the map."  In one neighborhood, dozens of homes are without roofs, and household items are scattered all over the ground. Streets are impassable -- covered with trees, pieces of houses and cars with their windows blown out. A medical resident at a Tuscaloosa hospital fled the hospital's parking deck when the wind started swirling. He says he looked back and "saw trees and stuff coming by."

Another doctor who was at the hospital when the tornado hit walked several blocks with his wife to get to their house, which was destroyed. A few houses away, he helped pull three students from the rubble. One was dead and two were badly injured.

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