Tornadoes and storms kill at least 16 across South

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2011 10:25 AM
Tornadoes and storms kill at least 16 across South

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Seven people were killed by storms in Alabama on Friday, bringing the total dead from a string of violent storms and tornadoes across the southern United States to at least 16, officials said on Saturday.

Seven people, including three children, were killed in Arkansas on Friday and two elderly sisters were killed in Oklahoma late on Thursday, authorities said.

Six of the seven fatalities in Arkansas were caused when uprooted trees smashed into houses, National Weather Service meteorologist John Robinson said. Robinson said that he could not recall a time in recent memory when so many fatalities occurred because of fallen trees in Arkansas.

Storms, some severe, are expected Saturday from the Florida Panhandle through eastern and southern Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, according to weather.com. Fire danger continues over the dry southern plains.

Tornadoes kill about 70 people in the United States each year.

(Reporting by Peggy Gargis in Birmingham, Alabama; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by David Bailey)