Tornado death toll rises to 34, severe storm threatens 75 million

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Louisville, MS, United States (4E) – A severe storm that spawned dozens of tornadoes in the Midwest and South the past three days killed at least 34 people in six states as of Tuesday and forecasters warned 70 million people in eastern U.S. to brace for high winds and hail.

About 50 tornadoes were reported on Monday with 15 people getting killed in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Eight people were killed in Mississippi, three in Alabama and two in Tennessee.

Mississippi’s Winston County Coroner Scott Gregory confirmed Monday that 7 people are dead, 7 people are missing and 37 were injured. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said the Louisville town was severely damaged while buildings near a commercial district in Tupelo were wiped away. An EF-4 tornado packing winds of 166 to 200 mph was reported in Louisville.

The Tennessee deaths were in Lincoln County, where an empty elementary school’s roof was ripped off and an empty school bus was hurled. In Alabama, the fatalities were a 21-year-old University of Alabama student and two residents of a trailer park near Athens.

About 90,000 homes in Alabama and 10,000 homes around Jackson, Mississippi were without power Tuesday, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and Entergy Mississippi.

On Sunday, tornadoes killed 15 people in Arkansas, two in Iowa and one in Oklahoma. Faulkner County, Arkansas had the heaviest death toll with 11 people killed in the towns of Vilonia and Mayflower.

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