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Thunderstorms in Southeast and Ohio Valley

May 3, 1997

A line of severe thunderstorms rolled across the Southeast and mid- Atlantic states on Saturday, and another area of stormy weather spread across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes.

The thunderstorms stretched through parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, with afternoon showers extending into parts of Virginia.

High wind or a possible tornado ripped the roof off a school at Wilson, N.C., during the morning and damaged nearby cars, police said. Three people suffered minor injuries.

Elsewhere in North Carolina, a tornado damaged four mobile homes near Hampstead at about noon and two people had minor injuries, Pender County officials said.

Severe storms also hit the area of Jackson, Miss., during the early morning. And about 20 families were evacuated from West Point, Miss., during the night because of flooding caused by as much as 4 inches of rain, the fire department said.

At Columbus, Miss., Columbus Air Force Base reported 3.75 inches of rain in the 24 hours up to 7 a.m. Saturday.

Late Friday, severe thunderstorms demolished several mobile homes near Chickamauga, Ga., killing a 9-year-old girl, Walker County officials said.

``We heard just a roaring sound ... almost like thunder when it continues on without stopping,″ said Rhonda Evitt, who lives just over a block from the damaged area.

Showers also were scattered over much of the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes, and thunderstorms formed during the afternoon across sections of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

Hail the diameter of quarters was reported near Pataskala, Ohio, and wind gusted to 50 mph in central Pennsylvania.

Cincinnati reported just over 1.5 inches of rain in the 24 hours up to 8 a.m., and Dayton, Ohio, had 1.82 inches.

That area of wet weather was expected to move into New England during the night.

In the Pacific Northwest, showers were scattered through parts of Washington and Oregon as a low-pressure system moved across the region.

Isolated thunderstorms were possible in the Cascades of Washington and Oregon and in the mountains of northern Idaho.

Saturday’s temperatures ranged from a morning low of 11 in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., to an early afternoon reading of 91 at Vero Beach and Fort Myers, Fla. The lowest wind chill was 8 at Rawlins, Wyo.

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