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Storms kill 17 across South

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Storms kill 17 across South

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A band of fast-moving storms brought reports of more than 100 possible tornadoes across the South on Saturday, toppling trees, snapping power lines and bringing the two-day death toll to 17.
Emergency crews in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama worked to assess the damage as the storm system moved north through the Carolinas and into southern Virginia.
The National Weather Service on Saturday issued tornado and thunderstorm warnings for the Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., areas.
“The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement,” the service reported. “Get under a workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture if no basement is available.”
On Friday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency after reports of tornado touchdowns in at least six counties.
Multiple injuries were reported in Sumter and Marengo counties, with at least one fatality in the latter, he said.
Three people were also killed in Autauga County after fallen trees crashed into mobile homes in the area, police said.
Three deaths in Washington County were reported, said Yasamie August, spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
Two other deaths were previously reported in Oklahoma and seven in Arkansas.
“This is a serious storm that has already caused significant damage across the South. I hope Alabamians take extreme caution while these storms move through,” Bentley said in a statement. (CNN)