A rare “tornado emergency” was issued for multiple parts of Alabama on Thursday as a line of twister-producing severe weather moved its way across the state. 

A tornado emergency warning was issued by weather authorities for multiple locations and counties in Alabama on Thursday ahead of what was expected to be devastating rotating storms across the area.

The emergency designation is a heightened form of the standard tornado warning, one that signals imminent widespread catastrophic damage from a violent tornado. 

Posts on social media, meanwhile, showed multiple twisters emerging from the sky across the state as damage was reported from strong storms. 

 The tornado emergency designator was first used in 1999 amid the historically powerful Bridge Creek-Moore tornado crisis. 

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