UPDATE: Weekend storms rip through southern states - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Weekend storms rip through southern states

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WKOW) -- The governors of Alabama and South Carolina are hitting the road to tour the damage left behind in their states by a series of weekend tornadoes.

Officials consider Mississippi the hardest hit state in the southern U.S., but storms also slammed Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, where two people died and another 30 were hurt.

The storm system destroyed parts of a small airport in northwest Georgia and damaged schools and homes in Darlingon, S.C.

Thunderstorms downed trees and powerlines as far north as Maryland.

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YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WKOW) -- FEMA officials are scheduled to head to the storm-devastated southern U.S. Monday to begin surveying the damage from weekend tornadoes and storms that left at least a dozen people dead.

Federal Emergency Management Agency teams will concentrate on the hardest hit state of Mississippi, where 10 of the 12 victims died. The inspection is a first step towards a possible disaster declaration by President Obama.

The governor of Mississippi says the tornado tore through 16 counties in his state -- one of more than 60 tornadoes that hit that state as well as parts of Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama.

The National Weather Service estimates one of the tornadoes had winds up to 160 miles per hour and left a path of damage at least 50 miles long.

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YAZOO CITY, Miss. (WKOW) -- The death toll in this weekend's severe weather in the southern U.S. has risen to at least 12 killed.

The storm that ripped through rural Mississippi left at least 10 dead. Another two deaths in Alabama have been blamed on the severe weather there.

So far authorities have counted 61 tornadoes that carved a path of devastation through nine states, from the Louisiana state line to east-central Mississippi, damaging hundreds of homes and leaving another three dozen people hurt. The strongest brought with it 160-mile per hour winds and a tornado that was a mile-and-a-half wide at its base.

Rescuers are racing to find anything who might be trapped, while survivors returned to their demolished homes to find what they could salvage, and bulldoze the rest.

People who saw the storm outside Yazoo City, Miss., say they couldn't believe their eyes.

 

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