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33 Die As Storms Ravage South, East

By: AP
By: AP

Emergency crews searched for survivors early Monday amid the wreckage of communities smashed by a series of pulverizing storms that barreled through more than a half-dozen states, killing at least 33 people and injuring more than 100.

The long band of storms, including several tornadoes, stretched from Louisiana to Pennsylvania, with Tennessee and Alabama the hardest hit Sunday. The death toll included 16 in Tennessee, 10 in Alabama and five in Ohio. Pennsylvania and Mississippi reported one death each.

One tornado in Ohio blasted apart a theater just minutes after a movie ended.

As the storms moved eastward, tornado warnings were posted Monday morning for sections of Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage. Hundreds lost power in the Carolinas.

Some 45 people were unaccounted-for in the rural Tennessee community of Mossy Grove, officials said. Officials said telephone lines were down and roads were blocked, making it difficult to find people who might be OK.

A tornado cut a swath five to six miles long just before 9 p.m. Sunday, killing at least seven people in the town about 40 miles west of Knoxville. Phone service was out and emergency crews had to rely on ham radio operators for communication.

Authorities were kept away from assessing much of the damage because toppled trees and power lines blocked roadways, and they feared the death toll would rise as daybreak revealed the extent of the devastation.

The injured included at least 55 people in Tennessee, 50 in Alabama, 21 in Ohio, about 30 in Mississippi, four in Georgia and two in Pennsylvania, authorities said.

In Alabama, nine people died in Walker County as a line of thunderstorms packing high winds and spinning off tornadoes rolled through the northern part of the state, said Walker County Deputy Coroner Bob Green.


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