The twisters ripped through six states killing at least 297 people -- 210 in Alabama alone -- in the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in almost 40 years.
Rescuers used pieces of debris as makeshift stretchers for survivors. Relatives frantically tried to find family members who were missing. And those who did survive were in shock at what they saw around them.
"There's not a word for what you see," said Becky Russell, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army's Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi (ALM) Division as she surveyed the damage in Tuscaloosa. "This has to be close to what a war zone looks like. I can turn in any direction and there is nothing normal standing."