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Severe storms rip Midwest, South

At least nine people are dead after severe storms battered the Midwest and South on Friday and Saturday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 23, 2006

At least nine people are dead after severe storms battered the Midwest and South on Friday and Saturday. The bad weather was continuing through Saturday, forecasters warned.

Tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain and large hail caused pockets of damage ranging from severe to mild in many states.

More than 10 inches of rain in 24 hours inundated parts of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. Arkansas officials reported they were still doing search-and-rescue operations in Sharp County. Residents near the Spring River were told to evacuate because of the potential for high water.

Two twisters touched down in south-central Missouri, damaging more than 100 homes and tearing the roof off a middle school. Most of the damage was roof damage, and the effects were most severe in the Phelps County community of St. James, according to local emergency management reports.

Rural southeast Missouri reported damage as well, and farmers there were assessing how badly they were hit.

Flash flooding was reported in the Lexington, Ky., area. Two people were swept away in a flooded creek there. More than 100 people were evacuated from an apartment complex near Louisville. Dozens of homes in Elizabethtown could be flooded with a couple inches of water, but local officials were still unsure of the exact number on Saturday afternoon.

Two other people died in car accidents blamed on the storm, and another died when her boat was struck by lightning.

In Illinois, high winds destroyed three mobile homes in Massac County, and damaged about 12 homes in Jackson County, according to reports from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

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