Tornadoes battering the US have left at least 45 people dead and caused widespread damage through out the southern states. Youtube videos have reveal the power of the storms, which continued for three days, leaving homes demolished and taking out power lines.
The storms began in Oklahoma on Thursday night, then moved on into Arkansas. By Friday, tornadoes were sweeping through Mississippi and Georgia.
Three members of one family were killed when a tornado hit their house in Alabama on Friday night. Seven more were killed in Arkansas, seven in Alabama, one in Mississippi.
In Virginia seven people were killed, two of whom drowned in a flash flood.
The death toll had risen dramatically by the end of the weekend after 65 tornadoes hit state of North Carolina on Saturday night. 22 people were killed and more than 80 others injured in the state.
North Carolina’s Governor, Beverly Perdue, declared a state of emergency, saying it was the worst storm since 1984.
A rescue mission is under way in the tornado-battered states where whole towns now lie devastated after twisters flipped cars and ripped houses from their foundations.
Many of the victims lived on trailer parks, where mobile homes offered little protection from the deadly tornadoes.
More than 200,000 people were without power in the wake of the storms. Two nuclear reactors in southeastern Virginia shut down automatically on Saturday when a tornado cut off an electrical feed to the station.
Amateur video footage of a tornado hitting Wilson in North Carolina has been posted on Youtube. As the tornado rips the roof off a house only metres from the laidback narrator’s truck, he continues to chat on the phone.
Another video, shot by US “weather paparazzi” William Coyle shows a tornado tearing across Raleigh’s Interstate 440, also in North Carolina.