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At least 13 people dead as fatal storm sweeps southern US

Vehicles are seen severely damaged on Hepburn Ave. in the Highlands on Saturday, the day after storms blew through the area which left thousands without power. Mar. 4, 2023 (Photo by Courier Journal)

At least 13 people have been killed and more than one million American customers remained without electricity after powerful storms swept through the South.

The storm that ripped through on Friday, damaged homes, brought down businesses, and threatened to bring more torrential rain, tornadoes, and heavy snow.

The affected states include Alabama, Arkansas, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

According to, about 1.2 million customers were without power Saturday, with Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia reporting the most outages.

Kentucky was hit particularly hard by the storms, with at least five Kentuckians dead in connection with the severe weather that hit the area.

As of 11:11 a.m. ET Saturday, 396,517 Kentuckians were without power, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said during a news briefing on Saturday, warning that it would take days to restore power in some places.

“When it comes to power, this is going to be a multiday event,” he said.

He added that the power outages were affecting water systems, putting more than 1,800 residents under a boil-water advisory.

With the damage caused due to the violent winds, he has also urged residents to use caution as downed power lines and uprooted trees posed lingering threats. Several people died because of fallen trees, including three in Alabama.

A 70-year-old man was killed by a falling tree in Talladega County, Ala., while sitting in his truck, the local coroner said.

Also, another 43-year-old man in Lexington, Ala., died after a tree fell on him, said Kim Edgil Jones, the coroner in Lauderdale County, Ala.

A high school student in Sumner County of Tennessee was critically injured Friday by a tree that fell during severe storms and is not expected to survive, local officials said Saturday.

“Even in her passing, she will give back to others by being an organ donor,” the school announced. “Please join us in praying for this family and all who were fortunate enough to know her.”

According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow is forecast through Saturday afternoon in northern New England, with a rain and snow mix in Massachusetts.

“Storm total amounts of 6 to 12 inches looks to occur within much of the Mohawk Valley, Adirondacks, Lake George Saratoga Region, and southern Vermont,” the National Weather Service in Albany, New York, wrote.

In Tennessee, wind gusts reached up to 79 mph on Friday, the National Weather Service said. “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in a tropical storm, this is it,” the service said on Twitter on Friday.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, the storms damaged homes and businesses and caused flight disruptions at airports Thursday.

Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, has predicted that the region would see much quieter and drier weather over the weekend.

“That would give time for the folks there to dry out and deal with the recovery efforts in terms of the downed trees and power lines,” Taylor said.

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