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Storms, Tornadoes Leave Dozens Dead in Ala., Miss., Ga. and Tenn.

Hermera Technologies/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Thunderstorms and severe winds slammed the South Wednesday, killing dozens of people in four states.

At least 53 people died Wednesday as the weather whacked Alabama, ABC News' Birmingham, Ala., affiliate, WBMA, also known as "33/40," reported.

In addition, at least 11 were dead in Mississippi, ABC News confirmed.

There also were severe weather fatalities Wednesday evening in Georgia, ABC News' Atlanta affiliate, WSB, reported.

Mayor Walter Maddox confirmed 15 dead in Tuscaloosa, Ala., hit by an estimated mile-wide apparent tornado that also did damage in Birmingham, Ala. Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama.

"We have way over 100 injuries throughout the city of Tuscaloosa," Mayor Maddox said. "We have hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed and hundreds more damaged."

Gov. Robert Bentley told WBMA that President Obama had declared a state of emergency for the search and rescue response, and was expected to grant one to help pay for the cleanup.

The weather system is expected to move into Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky by the night and into the Carolinas by Thursday morning.

The latest deaths come on top of about a dozen deaths from rough weather in the region over previous days.

In Mississippi, Louisiana police officer Lt. Wade Sharp was killed during a camping trip in a state park when a tree limb fell on his tent. Three other men who have not been identified were also killed because of fallen trees.

In Arkansas, the Department of Emergency Management said Wednesday that one person had died in a storm in Sharp County. And in Tennessee, a woman was killed in her Chattanooga trailer.

A three-year-old Mississippi girl died Tuesday after a tree fell on her house, authorities said, and 10 have been reported dead in Arkansas because of flooding and a tornado.

Louisiana authorities are investigating whether two deaths in that state are storm-related.

In Alabama, where 20 tornadoes had been reported before the deadliest weather late Wednesday evening, the governor declared a state of emergency.

There have been more than 600 reports of tornadoes nationwide for the month of April.

The latest storm pattern has brought in more than 45 reports of tornadoes in five states: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kentucky.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio