'This hurts my heart': Stunned Alabama searches for missing after tornado kills 23

USA TODAY

First responders aided by drones and search dogs hunted for survivors Monday after a devastating tornado killed at least 23 people, smashed homes and toppled power lines and a massive steel cell tower.

The tornado Sunday was part of a powerful storm system that also ripped through parts of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. The National Weather Service in Tallahassee confirmed the system spawned tornadoes in Leon County, Florida and Cairo, Georgia.

In Alabama, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said dozens were injured and the death toll could rise in this rural community less than 10 miles from sprawling Auburn University. 

"It looks almost as if someone took a giant knife and just scraped the ground," Jones said. "There are slabs where homes normally stood. There is debris everywhere."

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