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Twister, Storms Hit Parts of South

November 15, 2006

SUMRALL, Miss. (AP) _ Lines of powerful thunderstorms packing possible tornadoes and heavy rain raced across parts of the South early Wednesday, injuring at least eight people in Mississippi.

More injuries were reported in Arkansas.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said it appeared at least 30 homes were destroyed or damaged in four counties in the state’s southwest corner.

In Lamar County, emergency operations center director James Smith said a possible tornado struck a subdivision outside Sumrall at about 2:50 a.m.

Smith said six people were taken to hospitals from the Sumrall area, and the state agency said two other people were injured in Greene County.

Billy Morgan said he was in his office workshop near Glade when a possible tornado blew the windows out.

``All I heard was a loud roar and then the next thing everything was on top of me,″ Morgan told The Hattiesburg American.

A tornado warning was posted for southwest Mississippi, and a tornado watch extended into the Florida Panhandle, the National Weather Service said.

Thunderstorms also toppled at least five tractor-trailer rigs along Interstate 40 in Arkansas, and police said at least four people were hospitalized. Authorities said a hotel near Wheatley had structural damage.

The storms caused localized flash flooding in Arkansas, including the Little Rock area, where police said they rescued two people who escaped high water by climbing trees.

Several buildings, including mobile homes, were damaged by the storms in southeastern Louisiana’s Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, local authorities said.

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