(NECN: Alysha Palumbo) - The cleanup has begun across the south after dozens of devastating tornados ripped through the area Wednesday, killing more than 280 people and injuring countless others.
About a million people are still without power and many of those who survived are left with nothing.
Daniel Lee of Ringgold, Georgia said, "We shut the door, went to the hallway, and it went right over the house. It demolished the whole land and everything."
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Alabama, where 18 counties were hit and the death toll is nearing 200.
The President immediately sent FEMA officials to the state to assess the widespread damage there.
"We can't control when or where a terrible storm may strike but we can control how we respond to it and I want every American who has been effected by this disaster to know that the federal government will do everything we can to help you recover," said the President.
Experts say the tornado that hit Tusculoosa could have been an F5 - the strongest on the Fujita scale.
And now investigators are trying to determine if the twister had a record-breaking sustained touch down of three hundred miles, as it carved its way through Alabama into Georgia.
The Governor of Alabama Robert Bentley said, "As we flew in from Birmingham, the track is all the way down and then when you get in Tuscaloosa here, it's devastating."
Amid the ruins there are small rays of hope.
Congressman Spencer Bachus said, "All that's left in Concorde is rubble, you can't even identify where the homes were they're still searching for people there, they found someone late this morning."
And there is a resolve to come together and move forward.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby said, "I hate that it happened, hate everything about it, but we will carry on and we will rebuild and we will be stronger."