CAMILLA, Ga. -- Tornadoes slashed through southwest Georgia early today, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100.
The Mitchell County town of Camilla appeared to be hardest hit, with tornadoes cutting a 5-mile path through a housing development two miles south of town about 12:30 a.m.
"It's like somebody took a bulldozer and leveled it," volunteer firefighter Mikie Newsome said after he and his father watched a large dark funnel cloud dip down about three miles from their house.
"All you heard was a roar, woo-woo-woo," said Johnny Jones, whose mobile home south of Camilla was lifted up and thrown on its side.
Jones said he freed his 14-year-old son, who was pinned under a washing machine, and they crawled out a window.
"All I could see was that everything was demolished. People were hollering and crying 'Where's my child?"' he said.
Newsome estimated that 50 to 60 homes were demolished, 90 percent of them mobile homes.
Six people were reported dead in Mitchell County, but some officials said they expected that number to rise. Six more were confirmed dead in Grady County, and one in Colquitt County.
After daybreak, search and rescue teams went into the area to look for more dead and injured.
"You just don't know until you turn over all the trees and houses and dig through the rubble," said Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye, who confirmed the six deaths in his county.
Emergency officials reported more than 100 injuries. Mitchell County Hospital said it treated as many as 100 people, but had to send many of them to nearby cities because of a power outage.
The National Weather Service confirmed at least one tornado in the area and said there may have been more than one.
Willie Nelson, 41, said his three-bedroom house near Camilla was lifted up and carried about a quarter of a mile. He said he suffered abrasions on his back, but he was surprised to be a live.
"The whole house came up and I came up with it," he said as he sorted through the rubble later. "I was just praying to the Lord to take care of me."
The twisters grew out of a line of thunderstorms that swept across the South during the night and by morning extended all along the East Coast.
Thunderstorms also ripped off roofs and knocked down trees in parts if Alabama, and earlier strong wind destroyed at least six houses in Arkansas and injured two people. Trees and power lines also were down in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee, where one woman was injured by wind-blown debris.