Families in Moody, Ala., were just getting ready for work early Wednesday when the storm struck. Witnesses said there were no sirens and no warnings.
Wendy Pesnell lost her home when a tornado hit after 6 a.m. Wednesday.
"It's just kind of like, it makes you stop and think, you know, 'Wow.' You know, we're here one minute and be gone the next," she told ABC News.
George Bearden said the tornado touched down so fast that he and his family had no time to run for cover.
"Pieces of our house are scattered across two countries," Bearden told ABC News. "But we survived it."
At the airport in Birmingham, a hangar was damaged by high winds.
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 today that one person had died in a storm in Sharp County Tuesday. And in Tennessee, a woman was killed in her Chattanooga trailer.
A 3-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 were investigating whether two deaths in that state are storm-related.
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.
Some areas of Texas were in the path of a tornado for the second day in the row. Golf ball-sized hail hit cars along Interstate 45 and damaged homes.
Forecasters predicted more flooding for today with 3 to 7 inches of rain expected from Arkansas to Ohio, while areas such as Memphis, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky., could see heavy rain at times.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe toured the heavy tornado damage in Vilonia, where four died Monday.
"I'm amazed that we haven't had any more loss of life based upon the amount of damage that we're looking at," Beebe said.