BREAKING NEWS: North Carolina: At Least 40 Dead As Storm Rages Over 6 States: UPDATED

17 Apr

 

A lady inspectrs  her home and car in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, April 17, 2011.  Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm syste
AP – A lady inspectrs her home and car in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, April 17, 2011. Homes and businesses were …

Vicious storms strike the Deep South Slideshow:Vicious storms strike the Deep South

Raw Video: Tornadoes cause destruction in Miss. Play Video Video:Raw Video: Tornadoes cause destruction in Miss. AP

Severe storms death toll rises to 9 in 2 states Play Video Video:Severe storms death toll rises to 9 in 2 states AP

 
By TOM FOREMAN Jr., Associated Press Tom Foreman Jr., Associated Press :

 

RALEIGH, N.C.North Carolina officials have confirmed another death from a tornado in hard-hit Bertie County, raising the state’s death toll from storms to 18.

Authorities said someone missing in Saturday’s tornado was found dead after daybreak Sunday. The names and identities of the victims have not been released, but County Manager Zee Lamb said at least three were from the same family.

Lamb says he saw scenes of devastation in many places, with homes wiped from their foundations. At several houses, only one room remained standing where people managed to ride out the storm. The county is still trying to recover from devastating flooding last October.

The latest death reported pushed the death toll for the three days of tornadoes from Oklahoma to Virginia to at least 40.

NEWS UPDATE:

At least 45 people are said to have died after a powerful storm whipped up tornadoes across parts of the southern and central United States over three days.

Deadly Tornadoes Tear Through US: 45 Killed Play video

Tornadoes Tear Through US Killing Dozens Enlarge photo

Video: Deadly Tornadoes Tear Through Southern US

Tornadoes and thunderstorms hit North Carolina on Saturday, knocking out power, flooding streets and uprooting trees. A state of emergency has been put in place for the state.

At least 15 counties in the central and eastern parts of the state reported significant damage from tornadoes, according to local media, with dozens of homes destroyed or severely damaged.

The Bladen County Emergency Operations Centre said three people had been killed – two in Ammon, north of Elizabethtown, and one in Bladenboro.

An official in Wake County told the Fox News Channel there were also three deaths there and two dozen “significant injuries”.

Dozens of people were saved at a hardware store in Sanford when a manager moved them into the back of the store to avoid the approaching storm, which flattened the front of the building.

In South Carolina, a church collapsed in Berkeley County due to tornado winds. St. Stephen Fire Dept told Fox that six people were inside at the time but no one was injured.

Two dozen tornadoes were reported in the southern states of Mississippi and Alabama on Friday, a day after 15 twisters struck in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, the National Weather Service said.

“This system has clearly had the most intense severe storms of the early spring season,” said Corey Mead, a meteorologist with the National Storm Prediction Centre.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency for all the state’s counties as a result of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hail and high winds.

Seven people died in Alabama, when mobile homes were blown off their foundations.

Six of seven fatalities in Arkansas were caused when uprooted trees smashed into houses, officials said. Three of the Arkansas deaths were young children.

NBC TV reported that at least 45 people had died as a result of the tornadoes.

Tornado season typically runs from March to early July in the US, moving from south to north as the year progresses. Such storms kill an average of 70 people a year.

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