Storms bring hail, tornado, high winds to South

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Storms moving across the South on Thursday brought winds strong enough to rip off roofs and blow apart barns. At least two deaths were attributed to the weather; thousands of people lost power.

Southern Oklahoma had baseball-size hail and surrounding states saw heavy rain as the front moved east across the Mississippi River. Power failures and wind damage were reported in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

A tornado struck eastern Arkansas, damaging several homes and businesses, the National Weather Service said.

Around Little Rock, high winds rolled over a mobile home and damaged about a dozen other homes, and trees and power lines were down around the state. A 78-mph gust was reported in the northeastern part of the state.

About 7,600 homes and businesses lost electricity when power lines went out after being hit by trees or other power lines.

In Ashdown, Ark., an 83-year-old city councilman died after lightning struck his house and started a fire. His wife was injured but survived. In Shelby County, Tenn., a woman died when her vehicle struck a tractor-trailer during heavy rain, officials said.

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