A tornado described by the National Weather Service as "large and extremely dangerous" cut through Mobile, Alabama on Christmas Day, causing significant damage and turning off the lights in thousands of homes.

The full force of the powerful twister was captured by several CCTV cameras positioned in and around a Walgreens on Government St.

The footage shows cars being tossed around as a giant wave of debris swirls across the store's parking lot.

"I've never been in a war zone but I'm sure that's what it looks like," employee Josh Holman told WALA. "It was pretty intense," he added, noting how close the tornado came to tearing the store in half.

"I was just thankful I was alive," he said, "because if it had been a hundred yards the other way it would have ripped through the middle of the store."

Mobile was still in the process of cleaning up from an EF-1 tornado that struck the area just last week.

[screengrab, video via FOX10]