WFTV meteorologist gets first-hand look at damage caused by deadly storms



ATHENS, Ala. - At least 11 deaths are being reported from severe storms blowing through the South, but the toll could rise.
In Mississippi, officials say at least seven people have been killed. State Director of Health Protection Jim Craig said Monday night that officials are working with coroners to confirm the total. Winston County Coroner Scott Gregory said six fatalities were reported in that county alone.
In north Alabama, Limestone County Emergency Director Rita White said the coroner's office had confirmed two deaths in a twister that caused extensive damage west of the city of Athens.
In southern Tennessee, Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Mike Hall says two people were killed in a home when a suspected tornado hit Monday night.

WFTV's certified meteorologist George Waldenberger traveled more than 900 miles to one of the towns.

He got a first-hand look at the damage in Mayflower, Arkansas.     

Rev. Wade Lentz says he and his family fled their home just minutes before the tornado hit, and returned later to find nothing but a slab.
The pastor of Beryl Baptist Church in Vilonia says he thanks God that his wife and children are safe. Although he has to rebuild, Lentz is asking for prayers for others who lost loved ones and must now plan funerals.
The tornado killed eight people in Vilonia, including two children, and three people in Mayflower. A father and his two daughters were killed in the same storm system near Little Rock, while a 55-year-old woman died in northern Arkansas.
Lentz says dozens of people who lost their homes are staying in his church. Several other local churches also are serving as Red Cross shelters.

Click here to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

The the Associated Press contributed to this report.