6 dead as storms, possible tornadoes hit Southeast

BOB JOHNSON and JEFFREY COLLINS
View photos

ROCK HILL, South Carolina (AP) — At least five people have been killed and dozens injured as a storm system that spawned several possible tornadoes moved across the U.S. Southeast.

Suspected tornadoes were reported Wednesday in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina. Dozens of homes and buildings were damaged, and thousands of people were without power as trees and power lines were downed.

In South Carolina, three people were killed and five injured when a likely tornado swept through a rural community near Rock Hill, just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. In north Georgia, a man was killed when a tree fell on his sport utility vehicle.

Officials said Thursday that an adult and a child were killed in central North Carolina during the storms.

In eastern Alabama, a suspected tornado splintered trees and demolished mobile homes at a pair of housing parks near the Auburn University campus.

It was the worst bout of weather for the state since about 250 people were killed during the tornado outbreak in April.

In Rock Hill, Simone Moore told The Herald newspaper she was sitting on her back porch when she saw the tornado touch down and then quickly move back up. She said she noticed a nearby trailer had vanished.

"Everything's gone," Moore said. "Even the cows in the pasture."

Trees fell on homes in southeastern Mississippi, and mobile homes were tossed off their foundations. In all, 15 people were hurt.

At least 10 people were injured when a possible tornado ripped through North Carolina, leaving thousands without electricity.

Forecasters said a cold front stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast was to blame. Temperatures dropped in some areas from the low 70s to the 50s as the front passed, and winds gusted to near 30 mph.

___

Johnson reported from Birmingham and Associated Press writer Jay Reeves contributed to this report from there.