Death toll from tornadoes at 339 - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Death toll from tornadoes at 339

PRATT CITY, Ala. (AP) -

Volunteers are pitching in where other aid has yet to reach in the tornado-ravaged south.

The mayor of Tuscaloosa, Ala., says his city is experiencing a "humanitarian crisis" after this week's tornado tore through the city. But he's crediting volunteer efforts to distribute supplies as keeping the situation from spiraling out of control. Water, groceries, clothing and even hot dogs are being handed out as people try to help one another while a larger aid effort is put together.

The devastating tornadoes that hit the South Wednesday are now the second deadliest outbreak in U.S. history. The death toll has climbed to 339. Emergency buildings are wiped out. Bodies are stored in refrigerated trucks. Authorities are begging for such basics as flashlights. In one neighborhood, the storms even left firefighters to work without a truck.

Alabama was in the path of the most destruction from Wednesday's storms with at least 248 deaths. More than 30 people lost their lives in Tuscaloosa, which is home to the University of Alabama. Two students are among the dead.

In 1925, 747 people were killed in a line of storms that raged through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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