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Deadly tornado outbreak devastates the U.S.

Staff writers

March 5, 2012 — The death toll continues to climb after violent storms leave the U.S. Midwest and south in a state of destruction.

The tornadoes caused widespread damage
The tornadoes caused widespread damage

A large low pressure system triggered severe storms across parts of the U.S. last week.

On Friday, there were close to 100 tornado reports that covered five states. An official tornado count is not available yet as investigations continue.

The death toll continues to climb however, with at least 39 people reported as dead. Rescuers are still going door-to-door in rural communities in an effort to rule out any more victims.

In West Liberty, Kentucky, an EF-3 tornado has been confirmed and it stayed on the ground for at least 55 km. The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes was there on Sunday.

Residents comb through the debris
Residents comb through the debris

"The destruction is quite intense," says Bettes. "A lot of very sturdy buildings have lost their second level. The front facade's have crumbled, the window's have been blown out. The infrastructure here is severely compromised."

Residents in hard-hit Henryville, Indiana are also combing through the piles of debris left from an EF-4 and EF-2 tornado.

Cell phone signals have been hard to find making it difficult for people to connect with loved ones.

At one point, over 270 tornado warnings were in place across the region on Friday and officials say this could be the largest tornado outbreak for March in the U.S.

Stay up-to-date on weather conditions across the U.S. by visiting the U.S. Cities Index

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