Three days of severe storms and tornadoes in the southern United States have killed at least 39 people, downing power lines and wrecking hundreds of buildings along its path, officials said yesterday.
North Carolina accounted for the bulk of casualties and property losses, with 22 people killed and more than 80 others injured. Significant damage was reported in at least 15 counties and power was out to more than 200,000 people.
Seven people died as a result of the storms in Alabama, seven died in Arkansas and one died in Mississippi. Two people were killed in Oklahoma when a tornado flattened buildings.
It appeared to be the deadliest U.S. storm since February 2008, when 57 people died from tornadoes in the south and Ohio Valley, said AccuWeather.com meteorologist Andy Mussoline.
All’s well at nuclear reactors
Dominion Virginia Power said the two nuclear reactors at its Surry Power Station in southeastern Virginia shut down automatically on Saturday when an apparent tornado touched down and cut off an electrical feed to the station.
Backup generators operated normally and both units “are in safe and stable condition,” the utility said in a statement.