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April 17, 2011

Tornadoes, Floods kill 40 people in America's Midwest

ENVIRONMENT - At least 37 people are dead and many more are missing as a juggernaut storm of 62 tornadoes, flash floods and hail swept through Oklahoma to North Carolina and Virginia, leaving carnage and death in its wake.

Emergency crews today are searching for victims in collapsed homes as the death toll skyrockets, the worst Spring storm in over 20 years to hit the region. Ten people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, North Carolina alone. Another 3 people were trapped inside a mobile home in the North Carolina capital city of Raleigh.

State emergency management officials say more than 20 people were killed by the storms in North Carolina alone, but have yet to release final numbers of fatalities. One emergency management agency said it had reports of 22 deaths, but the numbers don't match what the government is saying.

At least four more deaths were reported in Virginia, where they expect the toll to rise.

The storm killed more people on Thursday night in Oklahoma, then roared through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. 7 people died in Arkansas; 7 more in Alabama; 2 in Oklahoma; and 1 in Mississippi.

The last time there was such a big Spring storm in the region was when 62 tornadoes were reported in March 1984, a storm which killed 57 people — 42 in North Carolina — and injured hundreds.

“He did two tours of duty in Iraq and the scene was worse than he ever saw in Iraq — that’s pretty devastating,” said one of the emergency volunteers, speaking about a friend a fellow volunteer.

NOTE: Scientists say that thanks to climate change and global warming we can expect these storms to become more intense as hotter temperatures will cause more extreme weather.

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