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9 Dead As Storm System Rips Through Midwest

Atlanta, GA 2/29/2012 10:15 PM GMT (WooEB)

A powerful storm system churned across the Midwest early Wednesday spawning an estimated 16 tornadoes and leaving at least 9 people dead in Illinois and Missouri. The storm continued moving east and forecasters warned severe weather and tornadoes could hit parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee later Wednesday evening.

Authorities say the majority of Wednesday’s fatalities occurred in the southern Illinois town of Harrisburg were a powerful tornado left several miles of destruction in its wake. An estimated 300 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed and about 100 people were injured. The initial death toll stood at 6.

The other three deaths occurred in Missouri. Authorities reported the deaths in Buffalo, Cassville and Puxico. Storm damage was reported across the state, including in the resort town of Brandon. Kentucky and Kansas also reported damage.

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