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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Deadly Tornadoes Rip Through US Cities, Killing 22

Deadly tornadoes have ripped through US Cities, killing 22 and injuring hundreds in Missouri, Oklahoma and Georgia. Crews and search dogs hunt for survivors in all three states.
In a north-eastern Oklahoma town of Picher, seven people are confirmed dead as crews desperately hunt for more survivors.

According to residents, the tornado tore through their town Saturday afternoon, injuring 150 people and leave a path of destruction in it's wake.

One man, Herman Hernandez, described the scene, "I swear I could see cars floating. And there was a roar, louder and louder."

Ottawa County Emergency Management reported homes, businesses and vehicles were destroyed in a 20-square-block area at the south end of Picher. In some cases, only a home’s concrete slab remained. The storm took down power lines, utility poles and trees.

Saturday evening first responders went house to house digging through the rubble to free those who were trapped. At daylight today, the search for additional victims continued. Damage also reported in Peoria and Quapaw.

The deadly storm proceeded to tear through towns in Missouri, killing at least 14 other people and then moved through Georgia, killing at least one.

A Missouri emergency management spokeswoman, Susie Stonner, says "We are still conducting search and rescue. Many people left the area if their homes were destroyed and they may have gone to stay with friends."

The National Weather Service estimated that at least eight tornadoes had been spawned in Oklahoma along six storm tracks. Three teams were dispatched to assess damage, meteorologist Steve Amburn said.

BBC has photos of the massive destruction left in the wake of these deadly storms.

Thousands have been left without electricity and many left without homes or places of employment as the residents of the towns hardest hit struggle to take in the enormity of the damage done to their towns and homes.

Quick Update 5/12/08-. Death toll has reached 23 and rescue crews and searching wreckage for survivors today.