Published: Apr 28, 2011 8:32 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 28, 2011 5:32 PM EDT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A mesmerized crowd gathered at the 7th floor waiting-room window of a Tuscaloosa hospital to watch a huge tornado barrel toward them.

Chief nurse Patrice Jones says she was terrified, and rushed to get patients and visitors away from windows and into the hallways. She says people were screaming, crying, and praying.

Wednesday's twister turned away from DCH Regional Medical Center, but ravaged nearby neighborhoods. The hospital treated more than 600 patients, and about 100 had to be admitted.

Hundreds of doctors, nurses and other staffers treated patients lined up on chairs, wheelchairs and cots in the corridors. Nine patients brought to DCH died. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency says the state's death toll has risen to 162.

Dr. Jeremy Pepper says most people they treated had nothing left.

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