Calm weather a respite in US tornado zone where 39 died

By REUTERS
March 4, 2012 13:07

 
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CRITTENDEN, Ky - Calm weather gave dazed residents of storm-wracked towns a respite early on Sunday as they dug out from a chain of tornadoes that cut a swath of destruction from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, killing at least 39 people.

The fast-moving twisters spawned by massive thunderstorms splintered blocks of homes, damaged schools and a prison, and tossed around vehicles like toys, killing 20 people in Kentucky, 14 in neighboring Indiana, three in Ohio and one in Alabama, officials said. Georgia also reported a storm-related death.

"We're not unfamiliar with Mother Nature's wrath out here in Indiana," Governor Mitch Daniels told CNN during a visit to the stricken southeast corner of the state.

"But this is about as serious as we've seen in the years since I've been in this job," he said, standing against the backdrop of the hard-hit town of Henryville, which declared a nighttime curfew to prevent looting.

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