Toll of deadliest storm system this season rises to 17

By Kase Wickman
Saturday, April 16, 2011 13:40 EDT
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At least 17 have died in the last two days as a result of the severe weather tearing across the southern United States, CNN reports. Hundreds of callers reported tornadoes that downed power lines, wrecked houses and downed trees.

Deaths have been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Alabama has seen the highest death toll as of Saturday afternoon, with 13 confirmed dead in the state, according to the Associated Press.

The severe weather warnings across the South and the Midwest were, for the most part, lifted Saturday.

“It sounded like a big locomotive,” Clay Cole, of Tushka, Oklahoma told The New York Times of the tornado that ripped through his town Thursday night. “Whoom, whoom, whoom.” He ran to a nearby shelter.

“It had at least 100 or more people in it — it was full,” he said. “You could hear stuff a-ripping and a-tearing. It lasted three minutes or so until it was over. Then nothing.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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