Scores dead after 110 tornadoes strike US

By Emily Bourke, wires

Updated 2 hours 41 minutes ago

A man surveys the destruction left by a tornado

A tornado tore through North Carolina earlier this month. (Reuters: Chris Keane)

At least 185 people are believed to be dead in the United States after wild weather swept across southern and central parts of the country.

The National Weather Service has reports of more than 110 tornado touchdowns on Wednesday (local time).

Storm victims across the region are trapped in homes, trailers and cars by fallen trees.

The latest pummelling comes two weeks after 50 people were killed in storms that tore a path from Oklahoma to North Carolina.

A state of emergency has been declared in six states where governors have called out the national guard to help rescue people and clean up.

US president Barack Obama has ordered emergency aid to be rushed to the worst-hit state of Alabama, where 128 people have been killed.

Walter Maddox, the mayor of Tuscaloosa in Alabama, says blocks and blocks of his city have been obliterated.

“I’ve grown up my entire life here in the city of Tuscaloosa, and today when I went out after the storm there were parts of the city that I literally did not recognise,” he said.

“I just spent quite some time with the governor and he has authorised national guard units which will be deployed into the city tomorrow, which will be a big assistance.

“He’s pledged every resource of the state, including contacting the president for additional resources.”

Tuscaloosa resident Jannie Ross says she and her family took shelter in the basement of their home when the tornado struck.

“We could hear debris hitting the side of our house, glass breaking and the train sound often attributed to big storms such as these,” she told the University of Alabama newspaper, The Crimson White.

“We could hear it destroying everything outside.”

Mississippi officials have reported 32 dead and Tennessee has raised its toll to six from one.

Another 11 have been killed in Georgia, 11 in Arkansas and one in Virginia.

Tornadoes are a regular feature of life in the US south and mid-west, but they are rarely so devastating.

The skies are not expected to clear yet, with another major storm system forecast to bring heavy rain and high winds at the weekend.

ABC/wires

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