RALEIGH, N.C. (WKOW) -- A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs has claimed at least 35 lives.
A county manager in eastern North Carolina says 10 people have died in storms there, bringing the nation's death toll to at least 35.
The storm began in Oklahoma days ago, then smashed across several Southern states, reached a new and deadly pitch in North Carolina and Virginia yesterday.
Emergency teams have been searching through the night for victims in North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes were reported. At least a half dozen people died just in the Carolinas and Virginia and authorities warn the toll is likely to rise today as searchers probe shattered homes and businesses.
The storm system claimed its first lives Thursday night in Oklahoma, then roared through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
At one point more than 250,000 people went without power in North Carolina before emergency utility crews began repairing downed lines. But scattered outages are expected to linger at least until Monday before power was fully restored.
Virginia officials say a tornado has killed three people in the state.
Gloucester County Sheriff Steve Gentry in Virginia told television station WTVR that three people died and more than 60 people injured from a tornado. He says a tornado wiped out houses, uprooted trees and caused widespread damage Saturday evening.