At least 4 killed in NC storms; death toll at 21 – Atlanta Journal Constitution
National / World News 12:01 a.m. Sunday, April 17, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue says that at least four people have died in powerful spring storms that swept across the state, raising the death toll to 21.
A billboard lays collapsed on the ground after a tornado went through Friday, April 15, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.. An apparent tornado damaged a motel in Tuscaloosa and struck an oil change business, blowing the plastic out of large signs and leaving roads crisscrossed with power poles and trees in places. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Michelle Lepianka Carter)
Cindi Johnson, left, and Lisa Shaw explore the remains of Boone’s Chapel Baptist Church on Saturday, April 16, 2011 in Boone’s Chapel, Ala., in Autauga County after severe winds hit late Friday night, leaving three people in the area dead. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Amanda Sowards)
Emergency personnel confer in front of Lowes Home Improvement after it was hit by a tornado in Sanford, N.C., Saturday, April 16, 2011. Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm system that whipped across North Carolina, bringing flash floods, hail and reports of tornadoes from the western hills to the streets of Raleigh. In the Lee County town of Sanford, a Lowe’s store was smashed by the storm. “The Lowe’s Home Improvement has been flattened,” said Monica Elliott, who works at the nearby Brick City Grill. “It’s totally destroyed.” (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)
The narthex of Boone’s Chapel Baptist Church is destroyed in Boone’s Chapel, Ala., in Autauga County Saturday, April 16, 2011 after severe winds hit late Friday night, leaving three people in the area dead. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Amanda Sowards)
Perdue confirmed deaths in four counties late Saturday night, but shouldn’t wouldn’t give an exact figure. The number of fatalities is expected to rise, though. Officials in the city of Raleigh alone have reported “multiple” deaths.
The storms have already killed 17 people in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.
But there were stories of survival. In North Carolina, the manager of a Lowe’s hardware store is being credited with saving more than 100 employees and customers when he ushered them to the back of the store. The front of the building was flattened.
In South Carolina, six people survived a church collapse.
April 17, 2011 12:01 AM EDT
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