YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Nation

Fierce Storms Rip Across Heartland

Heavy damage occurs in four states. Four more deaths are reported. Bush to visit some sites.

May 12, 2003|From Associated Press

Rescue and cleanup crews picked through wreckage in several states Sunday after another batch of storms roared through the middle of the country, doing heavy damage in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Winds up to 150 mph tore into homes in central Kentucky, causing more than a dozen injuries.

Rescue workers found the body of a woman in a stream under debris scattered by a tornado that tossed her mobile home into the Salt River and cut a seven-mile swath of damage in Mercer County.

The storms stem from a volatile weather system that "has been hung up over the area the past two or three days," said Chris Geelhart, a National Weather Service spokesman.

The worst of the storms appeared to have moved out of the region Sunday morning.

More than 300 tornadoes have been reported across the middle of the country since the start of May, and at least 48 people have died in the storms.

The toll includes an Oklahoma man who died Sunday, becoming the first victim of twisters that swept through central Oklahoma on Thursday and Friday. About 145 injuries were reported in those tornadoes.

In addition, a 5-year-old West Virginia boy was found dead Sunday in a flooded creek, and authorities said a 13-year-old Alabama girl was killed when a tree fell on her home during the storms.

Meteorologists say it was the most active week of tornadoes on record, easily eclipsing the most recent comparable one, in 1999.

President Bush, wrapping up a weekend in Santa Fe, N.M., told reporters he planned to visit some tornado sites Tuesday.

Los Angeles Times Articles