(CNN) — The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in “life-saving, sustaining and recovery mode” in Alabama, where massive tornado damage has left wide swathes of the state’s Southeast community in shambles.
Most of the deaths in Tuesday’s storm, which slammed into Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas, were due to the funnel cloud that was observed forming from the storms, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
FEMA’s Southern regional director, Tim Sedlak, and the official Twitter account sent out messages of condolences to the victims of the tornado, which is estimated to have left 6,000 people without power.
“The response to the tornado in the southeast has been critical and I could not be more proud of our agency’s response,” FEMA administrator Brock Long said in a statement.
The agency’s Public Assistance program — which supports debris removal, housing and disaster assistance — is currently assessing the damage across the affected region.
In addition to Illinois, the state of Alabama reports that its residents have suffered significant damage due to Tuesday’s tornadoes, as well as hail and large areas of rivers flooding.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency, and has also urged residents of 15 communities in the state’s Talladega and Walker counties to evacuate as flash floods are predicted to worsen.