Thunderstorms, Tornadoes Leave 27 Dead (USA)

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Thunderstorms, Tornadoes Leave 27 Dead (USA)

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NEWBERN, Tenn. - Thunderstorms packing tornadoes and hail as big as softballs ripped through eight states, killing at least 27 people, injuring scores and destroying hundreds of homes in the South and Midwest.

Tennessee was hit hardest, with tornadoes striking five western counties Sunday and killing 23 people, including an infant and his grandparents and a family of four.

Most of the deaths were along a 25-mile path stretching from Newbern, about 80 miles northeast of Memphis, to Bradford, officials said. The Highway Patrol sent teams with search dogs to the area Monday to check what remained of damaged homes and businesses for anyone who might be trapped in the rubble.

Betty Sisk grabbed her son and daughter, age 10 and 13, and took cover in a closet until the twister blew their house apart and threw them into the yard.

"By the time the sirens started going off, it was at our back door," Sisk said Monday. "I didn't hear a train sound, I heard a roaring."

Nothing remained of Sisk's wood-frame home Monday but the concrete steps. A nearby house was destroyed and Sisk said she had been told the elderly couple who lived there were dead. Another neighbor's home was blown about 30 feet off its foundation.

Severe thunderstorms, many producing tornadoes, also struck parts of Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Strong wind was blamed on at least three deaths in Missouri. A clothing store collapsed in southern Illinois, killing one man.

The weather service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it had preliminary reports of 63 tornadoes.

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Another wave of tornado's hits midwest killing 27 people. It's been about 3 weeks since the last bunch of tornado's killed 10.
By YCON: posted on 4-4-2006

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