Wild video captures moment 135MPH tornado that killed at least five roars over truck in Alabama: The South is battered by EIGHT twisters and 50M remain under severe weather watch

 Terrifying video shows the moment two men survived a powerful tornado that killed at least five people while driving down a road in an Alabama town on Thursday afternoon.  

Cesar Villaseñor, 22, said he was with his boss when they encountered the twister hitting Pelham. He said they were driving to his boss' home as incredibly strong winds associated with a tornadic supercell hit.

'My reaction, I was like, 'this is probably it. I'm probably dead,'' he said. 'At one point, the van was shaking really bad to the point that I thought it was like to flip over. I was just shaking. I couldn't control my hands.' 

And by the looks of the footage, Villaseñor and his boss are extremely lucky to be alive. 

Now, the weather super cell has ripped across Georgia, wreaking destruction that social media users said turned the area into a 'war-zone'.   

There were several reports of downed trees and power lines on Friday and Newnan police asked residents to 'get off the roads' in a Facebook post, explaining that emergency officials were surveying the area. 

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady said no fatalities were immediately reported.

In the Alabama clip, rain is seen pelting the truck's windows as powerful winds blow debris in front of the vehicle as Villaseñor drives down the road.  

Terrifying moment two men get trapped in tornado in Alabama
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The tornado threw debris across the road the men were driing on Thursday afternoon
A tree was uprooted right in front of the men as they were driving home

Terrifying video shows the moment two men survived a powerful tornado that killed at least five people while driving down a road in an Alabama town on Thursday afternoon

An uprooted tree is seen as the men drive by it on Thursday
The men also drove by a home that suffered damage

A tree (left) was uprooted along the road the two men were traveling on and a home was seen destroyed as they passed by it (right)

Cars were flipped and damaged on on Montgomery Highway in Centerville, Alabama

Cars were flipped and damaged on on Montgomery Highway in Centerville, Alabama 

Cindy Smitherman talks with friends about the damage to her house in Centerville, Alabama, on Thursday

Cindy Smitherman talks with friends about the damage to her house in Centerville, Alabama, on Thursday 

Villaseñor escaped the tornado unharmed and also said that his home was not impacted by the storm.

The tornado Villaseñor encountered was a part of a string deadly twisters that roared through Alabama on Thursday, toppling trees, demolishing homes and knocking out power to thousands, part of a broad swath of violent weather sweeping across the Deep South.

The storm system has caused at least five fatalities, including a family-of-three, and an unknown number of injuries were reported.

The confirmed deaths were in Calhoun County, in the eastern part of the state, where one of multiple twisters sprang from a 'super cell' of storms that later moved into Georgia, said John De Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham.

The Storm Prediction Center on Thursday afternoon had issued a 'particular dangerous situation' tornado watch until 8pm CT for about 5.5 million people in parts of Alabama, northwest Georgia, Mississippi and southern Tennessee. 

The advisory is issued when there's high confidence that multiple strong tornadoes of EF-2 strength, which has wind speeds of 111 to 135mph, or higher will occur in the watch area. 

Pat Lindsey, a resident of the county's hard-hit town of Ohatchee, told The Associated Press that a neighbor of his was killed when a twister destroyed his mobile home. 'He was good as gold,' Lindsey said.


The tornado (pictured) hit small communities south of Birmingham and inflicted catastrophic damage, police said

The tornado (pictured) hit small communities south of Birmingham and inflicted catastrophic damage, police said

Dark clouds are seen in the Eagle Point subdivision as a tornado tore through the area on Thursday afternoon

Dark clouds are seen in the Eagle Point subdivision as a tornado tore through the area on Thursday afternoon  


Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said the twister cut a diagonal path across the county, striking mostly rural areas - something that likely kept the death toll from being higher.

'Tonight, five people lost their lives and for those families, it will never be the same,' Wade said at an evening briefing. 'Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go to the families, and we are going to do our best to let them know we love them.' 

Farther west, vast areas of Shelby County near Birmingham were badly damaged. In the city of Pelham, James Dunaway said he initially ignored the tornado warning when it came over his phone. 

But it wasn't long before he could hear the twister approaching, so he left the upstairs bedroom where he had been watching television and entered a hallway - just before the storm blew off the roof and sides of his house, completely exposing the bedroom. All three of his vehicles were left undriveable.


'I'm very lucky to be alive,' the 75-year-old Vietnam War veteran told Al.com.

Utility lines were downed along Highways 119 and 31 in northern Pelham, police said. Pelham authorities posted video of large trees blocking roads and utility poles leaning menacingly over debris-littered streets. 

Pelham police said that 'numerous houses' have been damaged in Chandalar. In addition, police said the Pelham Civic Complex has suffered damage, but the extent is unclear. Approximately 60 homes were damaged in Pelham, police said. Of those homes, 22 sustained 'major damage'. 

Firefighters outside a flattened home in the Eagle Point subdivision, also in Shelby County, said the family that lived there made it out alive before they arrived. Nearby homes were roofless or missing their second stories.   

Damage is seen after tornadoes tore through Pelham, Alabama, Thursday afternoon

Damage is seen after tornadoes tore through Pelham, Alabama, Thursday afternoon 

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said that five deaths and two injuries have been reported in the Ohatchee and Wellington area

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said that five deaths and two injuries have been reported in the Ohatchee and Wellington area

A firefighter surveys damage to a house where the family was trapped, but were able to get out after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama, in the Eagle Point community

A firefighter surveys damage to a house where the family was trapped, but were able to get out after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama, in the Eagle Point community 

Damage is seen to a home after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision on Thursday

Damage is seen to a home after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision on Thursday 

A firefighter works with residents to remove fallen trees blocking roads for rescue crews to get past after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama

A firefighter works with residents to remove fallen trees blocking roads for rescue crews to get past after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama 

Workers at Cahaba Tractor work to protect the damaged roof of the business after being hit by a tornado on Thursday in Pelham, Alabama

Workers at Cahaba Tractor work to protect the damaged roof of the business after being hit by a tornado on Thursday in Pelham, Alabama

A house is left missing a roof after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision in Hoover, Alabama, on Thursday

A house is left missing a roof after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision in Hoover, Alabama, on Thursday 

This image shows the inside of a gym after its roof was damaged during a tornado in Pelham, Alabama
Debris from the roof of a gym are seen scattered across its floor on Thursday

These images show the inside of a gym after its roof was damaged during a tornado in Pelham, Alabama 

About 32 homes in Eagle Point were damaged with 29 of those suffering heavy damage.

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego told the AP that some houses in the county 'have been completely destroyed'. 

'We can confirm local residential structures have been completely destroyed. Our priority at the moment is identifying those citizens in need of emergency medical attention. 

'We will then work with our partnering agencies to provide needed resources to our residents who are displaced. This search and outreach effort will continue throughout the night and into the early morning hours, Samaniego said.

As many as eight tornadoes might have hit the state on Thursday, De Block said. He said investigation teams will review eight suspected tornado tracks, and the final twister number will depend on if any of those tracks can be connected.

Search and rescue efforts were complicated by strong weather that continued to rake across the region. 

Radar 'debris signatures' showed a tornado that formed in southwest Alabama traveled roughly 100 miles and stayed on the ground for about an hour and 20 minutes, De Block said.

The twisters ripped through towns from west to east. In the western city of Centreville, south of Tuscaloosa, Cindy Smitherman and her family and neighbors huddled in their underground storm pit as the twister passed over their home.

This graphic shows tornadic circulation across northern St Clair County near Ashville, Alabama

This graphic shows tornadic circulation across northern St Clair County near Ashville, Alabama 

This graphic shows the storm moving out of Jefferson County as it moved along the Highway 11/Interstate 59 corridor in northern St Clair County

This graphic shows the storm moving out of Jefferson County as it moved along the Highway 11/Interstate 59 corridor in northern St Clair County

Piles of debris remain after a tornado touched down killing several people and damaging multiple homes on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama

Piles of debris remain after a tornado touched down killing several people and damaging multiple homes on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama

Debris was left scattered after a tornado destroyed a home on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama

Debris was left scattered after a tornado destroyed a home on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama 

Homes were completely destroyed after Thursday's tornado in Ohatchee, Alabama

Homes were completely destroyed after Thursday's tornado in Ohatchee, Alabama 

Ragan Chapel United Methodist church was destroyed after a tornado touched down killing several people and damaging multiple homes on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama

Ragan Chapel United Methodist church was destroyed after a tornado touched down killing several people and damaging multiple homes on Thursday in Ohatchee, Alabama

A tree fell on the shelter door, trapping the eight of them inside for about 20 minutes until someone came with a chain saw to remove the tree, said Smitherman, 62. 

The twister downed trees, overturned cars and destroyed a workshop on the property.

'I'm just glad we're alive,' she said. 'Praise the Lord.'

Centreville Mayor Mike Oakley said a local airport was hit. 'We have airplanes torn apart like toys. We've got homes along here that are totally destroyed, trees down, power lines down. It's pretty devastating,''Oakley said.

More than 35,000 customers were without power in Alabama.

First lady Jill Biden postponed a trip to Birmingham and Jasper, Alabama, that she had planned for Friday because of the severe weather, her office said in a news release.

'Thinking of everyone in Alabama and all of those impacted by the severe weather across the South tonight. My prayers are with the grieving families. Please stay safe,' Biden wrote on Twitter.

While Alabama was bearing the worst of Thursday's weather, forecasters warned of dangerous thunderstorms, flash floods and possible twisters from eastern Mississippi into western Georgia, and northward into Tennessee and Kentucky. 

Also, flash flood warnings and watches extended to the western Carolinas.

The weather super cell has ripped across Georgia, wreaking destruction that social media users said turned the area into a 'war-zone'

The weather super cell has ripped across Georgia, wreaking destruction that social media users said turned the area into a 'war-zone'

Newnan, Georgia, residents were left without phone or internet services for several hours as the tornado ripped through the country

Newnan, Georgia, residents were left without phone or internet services for several hours as the tornado ripped through the country

Newnan, Georgia, residents were left without phone or internet services for several hours as the tornado ripped through the country. 

Newnan Utilities manage Dennis McEntire said the phone lines had now returned and urged residents to follow the utility on social media for any updates.

'It's still dark so it's hard to assess all of the damage but we believe we have 30 broken poles,' McEntire said. 'We serve about 10,000 customers and about half are without electricity right now.'

McEntire said the damage from the storm was severe and it will 'take several days, with the help from outside crews, to put the system together again.'

Alabama Gov Kay Ivey issued an emergency declaration for 46 counties as the severe weather approached, and officials opened shelters in and around Birmingham. 

A house is totally destroyed after the tornado touched down in the Eagle Point community on Thursday

A house is totally destroyed after the tornado touched down in the Eagle Point community on Thursday 

Firefighters responded to the Eagle Point neighborhood Thursday afternoon after a tornado hit the community that sits just south of Birmingham

Firefighters responded to the Eagle Point neighborhood Thursday afternoon after a tornado hit the community that sits just south of Birmingham 

Trees sit uprooted along SR 31 after a tornado came through on a day of extended severe weather on Thursday in Pelham, Alabama

Trees sit uprooted along SR 31 after a tornado came through on a day of extended severe weather on Thursday in Pelham, Alabama 

Residents survey damage to homes after a tornado hit the Eagle Point community damaging multiple homes

Residents survey damage to homes after a tornado hit the Eagle Point community damaging multiple homes

Damage is seen to a home after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision on Thursday afternoon

Damage is seen to a home after a tornado passed through the Eagle Point subdivision on Thursday afternoon

Residents cut away debris after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama, in the Eagle Point community on Thursday

Residents cut away debris after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama, in the Eagle Point community on Thursday 

Residents work to remove fallen trees blocking roads for rescue crews to get past after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama

Residents work to remove fallen trees blocking roads for rescue crews to get past after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Alabama 

Police respond to a downed tree across 1st Ave W on a day of severe weather in Helena, Alabama

Police respond to a downed tree across 1st Ave W on a day of severe weather in Helena, Alabama 

 Significant and dangerous weather continues to impact portions of Alabama, and I urge all folks in the path of these tornadoes and storm systems to remain on high alert,' the governor said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

'Tragically, we are receiving reports of loss of life. I offer my sincerest prayers to all impacted. Unfortunately, the day is not over yet. Y'all please stay safe and vigilant!'

Flash floods were a problem in parts of Alabama at times. State troopers closed all lanes of a section of Interstate 65 near Cullman after floodwaters covered the roadway. The highway was reopened later in the day.

Mississippi had a storm-related death on Wednesday. Ester Jarrell, 62, died when a large tree toppled over onto her mobile home after heavy rain soaked the ground, a Wilkinson County official told The Associated Press. 

A Florence Police Department officer was struck by lightning while putting out barricades at the intersection of Chisholm Road and Gresham Road, the department tweeted. 

He was 'conscious and responsive' at North Alabama Medical Center, the police department in Florence said on Twitter. 

As of early Friday morning, there are more than 27,000 people without power in Alabama and some 19,000 without power in Georgia, according to power outages.

Police in Helena, Alabama, tweeted that the town 'received major damage as a result of the tornado'.

'All phone lines to HPD are down. Call 911 if you need emergency assistance. Please stay out of the area of Old Town on Hwy 261,' the department wrote. 

Wild video captures moment 135MPH tornado that killed at least five roars over truck in Alabama: The South is battered by EIGHT twisters and 50M remain under severe weather watch Wild video captures moment 135MPH tornado that killed at least five roars over truck in Alabama: The South is battered by EIGHT twisters and 50M remain under severe weather watch Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:05 Rating: 5

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