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Storms, Tornadoes Devastate the South

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Powerful storms swept through the South and Midwest regions of the United States over the past several days, bringing with them heavy rainfall, flooding, hailstorms, lightning, and hundreds of devastating tornadoes. As of this morning, the death toll from the storm system has nearly reached 250 -- at least 128 of those in hard-hit Alabama. Neighborhoods have been flattened, thousands are without power across the region, and efforts to aid the trapped or injured continue in regions where many roads have become impassable. As residents work to recover what they can, they are preparing for yet another storm system predicted to pass through starting Saturday. Gathered here are images from the storm-damaged south and central U.S. over the past several days. [34 photos]

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A tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton)
A tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton)
Tamisha Cunningham, who suffered a leg injury when her home was destroyed, looks over the damage while waiting for medical care, near Athens, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Homes in the area were completely destroyed following a tornado that cut a path through Lawrence, Morgan and Limestone Counties. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr) #
Four houses are surrounded by floodwaters from the Current River just outside Doniphan, Missouri, on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. The area received several inches of rain in previous days. (AP Photo/Daily American Republic, Paul Davis) #
Volunteers work to place sandbags atop a temporary levee to fight back floodwaters as lightning flashes in the background, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in Dutchtown, Missouri. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #
A large tornado sweeps through Limestone County, south of Athens, Alabama, near Stewart Road, Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.) #
Extensive damage is seen after what appeared to be a tornado ripped through parts of Concord, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Birmingham News, Jeff Roberts) #
A first responder holds onto a child that was found in the rubble of a destroyed home after a tornado struck Phil Campbell, Alabama, on Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/The TimesDaily, Daniel Giles) #
A commercial business building in downtown Cullman, Alabama, crumbles after a tornado touched down on Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Decatur Daily, Brennen Smith) #
Residents survey the destruction after a tornado hit Pratt City, Alabama, just north of downtown Birmingham on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) #
From left, Clyde Lafon, Alice Lafon and Liz Perry walk from the area where their houses stood, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, in Concord, Alabama, after severe weather crossed the area. (AP Photo/Birmingham News, Jeff Roberts) #
Trees are sheared off as debris scatters a road after a tornado struck Wednesday, April 27, 2011 in Phil Campbell, Alabama. (AP Photo/TimesDaily, Daniel Giles) #
First responders carry an elderly woman away after they rescued her from the rubble of her home, after a tornado struck Wednesday, April 27, 2011 in Phil Campbell, Alabama. (AP Photo/TimesDaily, Daniel Giles) #
Michael Dunn is hugged by his mother Patricia Dunn as they stand in the road that lead to his house which was completely destroyed after a tornado touched down, Wednesday, April 27, 2011 in Concord, Alabama. (AP Photo/Birmingham News, Jeff Roberts) #
A pickup truck and armored delivery vehicle sit stranded in floodwaters from the Black River south of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Monday, April 25, 2011, along Highway 53. (AP Photo/Daily American Republic, Paul Davis) #
Eve Andrews, left, and her son Brandon Andrews walk through floodwater to get back to their home Monday, April 25, 2011, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Thousands of southeastern Missouri residents watched helplessly Monday as water from the Black River crept toward their homes after flowing over the levee protecting their town and trapping some who had to be rescued by boat. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #
A child takes a photo with her cell phone of a cow sign for Sirloin Stockade, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in Murray, Kentucky, after overnight storms lifted it from its base and tipped it over into the parking lot. (AP Photo/The Ledger & Times, Kyser Lough) #
Shawn Loehr, with the help of his horse, Bay, tries to persuade an ornery cow onto drier ground at his father, Dwayne Loehr's place near Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area near Mount Vernon, Indiana, on Monday morning, April 25, 2011. The father and son compete in team roping events, but this was the first time they'd ever had to rescue their animals from the rapidly rising waters from the Ohio River. "We don't know what the river's gonna do and we didn't want to take any chances," the elder Loehr said of their decision to move the animals to higher ground. "If we don't get 'em out of here today, it'll be too late and we'll be stuck." All of the cattle were moved safely. (AP Photo/The Evansville Courier & Press, Denny Simmons) #
Blue skies appear following a strong storm, with heavy downpour and nickel sized hail, that pushed through LaPorte, Indiana, Tuesday afternoon, April 26, 2011. The storm is seen heading northeast in this photo taken near the intersection of US Route 20 and Indiana Route 2. (AP Photo/The LaPorte Herald-Argus) #
Lightning touches ground on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 in the early morning before finding it's way to Vicksburg, Mississippi, bringing heavy rain and winds with it. (AP Photo/The Vicksburg Post, Bryant Hawkins) #
Culkin volunteer firefighters fight a house fire at 217 Fairways Drive in Vicksburg early Wednesday, April 27, 2011 while a lightning storm lights up the sky. According to the homeowners Jim and Jennifer Harper, the house was hit by lightning around one in the morning. The Harpers, their two sons Jay, 19, and Ben, 16, and two of Jay's friends were in the house when the fire started but escaped uninjured. (AP Photo/The Vicksburg Post, Bryant Hawkins) #
Barge traffic moves along the channel of the flooding Mississippi River just north of where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi near Cairo, Illinois. on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson) #
People stand near a destroyed house in Vilonia, Arkansas, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, after a tornado struck the area late Monday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) #
Storm-damaged grain storage bins sit near a flooded farm field near Coy, Arkansas, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) #
Residents survey the destruction after a tornado hit Pratt City, Alabama. just north of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) #
Faye Hyde, right, sits on a mattress in what was her yard as she comforts her granddaughter Sierra Goldsmith, 2, in Concord, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Their home was completely destroyed. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Jeff Roberts) #
Rescue workers search a hillside after what appeared to be a tornado ripped through parts of Concord, Alabama, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Birmingham News, Jeff Roberts) #
Lightning fills the sky during a storm, as seen in front of the Johnson City Press in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Johnson City Press, Lee Talbert) #
Clouds form over south Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the sun lights up Cisterna Market Tuesday, April 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Southwest Times Record, Kaia Larsen) #
A petunia is seen through a raindrop falling off a leaf in a garden in Overland Park, Kansas, on Monday, April 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #
The Teel family packs their belongings after their home was severely damaged by a storm early Tuesday morning in Jackson, Tennessee, on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Jackson Sun, Katie Brake) #
A group of unidentified emergency volunteers move a body recovered among the devastation in Smithville, Mississippi, after a tornado destroyed much of the small town on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, C. Todd Sherman) #
Jessica Capp reacts to falling into flood water as she and her mother, Debbie Back, return from collecting belongings at their flooded home in Old Shawneetown, Illinois. on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. With five days of heavy rainfall and more to come, volunteers filling sandbags Wednesday in southern Illinois towns threatened by the swollen Ohio River braced for possible record flooding. Officials asked for more volunteers to help with the effort. (AP Photo/The Southern, Stephen Rickerl) #
Destruction remains after strong storms passed through Birmingham, Alabama, and surrounding areas during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Many power lines and trees litter the streets of Cahaba Heights. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News/Michelle Campbell) #
Lightning streaks above Cornith Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia, as a line of severe thunderstorms sweep across Georgia in the early morning on Thursday, April 28, 2011. (AP Photo/ Athens Banner-Herald, David Manning) #

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