35 dead after days of tornadoes in South, Midwest

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Tornado damage, April 29, 2014
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35 dead after days of tornadoes in South, Midwest
Map shows areas affected by tornadoes and shows related fatalities.
Adam Paxton uses tarps to cover a roof damaged by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over two days flattened homes and businesses, and killed dozens from the Midwest to the Deep South. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Turner Holland sweep the slab of a home destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over two days flattened homes and businesses, and killed dozens from the Midwest to the Deep South. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
An Arkansas Razorback flag hangs in front of a home destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over two days flattened homes and businesses, and killed dozens from the Midwest to the Deep South. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A resident uses rubber boots as he negotiates debris from Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over two days flattened homes and businesses, and killed dozens from the Midwest to the Deep South. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
VILONIA, AR - APRIL 29: Arkansas National Guard Staff Sgt. Skipper Smith hangs an American flag on a pole at the site of a home that was detroyed when a tornado hit the area April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. Deadly tornadoes ripped through the region April 27, leaving more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Tow truck workers attempt to right a tractor trailer that was tipped over during a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Isabel Jimenez salvages what she can from her restaurant after the building was destroyed by a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Gunner Goad (L) and Jim Smith help a friend salvage what he can from his business that was destroyed by a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Sam Smith takes a break from helping a family friend salvage what he can from his business that was destroyed after a tornado hit on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Gunner Goad helps a family friend salvage what he can from his business that was destroyed by a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: (L-R) Scott Black, Holly Boatner and Paul Flatt salvage what they can from the building where they work after it was destroyed by a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VILONIA, AR - APRIL 29: Volunteers look through debris where homes once stood after a tornado April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. Deadly tornadoes ripped through the region April 27, leaving more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
VILONIA, AR - APRIL 29: Dan Wassman gets a hug from a friend Amy Lundsford at the homesite of his son, also named Dan Wassum, who was killed when a tornado destroyed his home late Sunday afternoon, April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. Deadly tornadoes ripped through the region April 27, leaving more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
VILONIA, AR - APRIL 29: Volunteer Gina Lowe (C) helps a family move belongings from a home that was destroyed by a tornado on Sunday, April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. After deadly tornadoes ripped through the region leaving more than a dozen dead, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee are all under watch as multiple storms are expected over the next few days. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
VILONIA, ARKANSAS - APRIL 28: An elevated view shows damage along the path of a tornado that yesterday tore through the area for the second time in three years, on April 28, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. After deadly tornadoes ripped through the region, leaving more than a dozen dead, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee are all under watch as multiple storms over the next few days are expected. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
VILONIA, AR - APRIL 29: People inspect a car that was destroyed when a tornado hit the area April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. Deadly tornadoes ripped through the region April 27, leaving more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Gunner Goad helps a family friend salvage what he can from his business that was destroyed by a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TUPELO, MS - APRIL 29: Tina Hoang sits in front of her nail business where she was injured by flying debris while she was inside during a tornado on April 29, 2014 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A deadly tornado ripped through the area April 28, after deadly storms moved through the south spawning tornadoes that have left more than a dozen dead. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Theresa Long walks into her storm-damaged home in Mayflower, Ark., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Long painted a sign reading "Theresa Long is Alive" on the front of the house after a Sunday tornado struck the neighborhood. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Charles Milam takes a break while searching his destroyed home on Clayton Avenue in Tupelo, Miss., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Milam, his wife and his granddaughter were at home at the time of the tornado, and all survived. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Friends, seen through debris, comfort each other at the site of a a home destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Austin Hargrove, left, and Haley Hracke, right, help recover personal items from a friends home that was destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Workers walk past damage at South Lincoln Elementary School on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, after storms came through Monday in Fayetteville, Tenn. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Volunteers continue to salvage items for residents who lost their homes to Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Callie Moore looks through the debris of her home that was destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark. A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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LOUISVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Forecasts for a third day of killer tornadoes in the South and Midwest didn't pan out, leaving many in the South and Midwest with new concerns about flooding Wednesday. But despite the loss of at least 35 lives, there was also a sense that things could have been worse.

A vast storm system still packed considerable punch days after the violent outbreak began in Arkansas and Oklahoma. At least four possible tornadoes were reported late Tuesday in North Carolina but there were no immediate reports of injuries. Heavy downpours also flooded low-lying streets along parts of the Gulf Coast as rivers swelled with runoff.

The storms hit especially hard in places such as Arkansas' northern Little Rock suburbs and the Mississippi cities of Louisville and Tupelo. Arkansas, with 15 deaths after a tornado blasted through Sunday, and Mississippi with 12 deaths from Monday's storms, accounted for the brunt of the death toll.

"We will overcome this," Louisville Mayor Will Hill said against a backdrop of hundreds of damaged buildings, including two hilltop churches pounded to rubble. "We're going to work together."

Authorities in Louisville searched until dark Tuesday for an 8-year-old boy missing since Monday's large tornado that killed his parents and destroyed the home where they lived. Though searchers didn't rule out finding the boy alive, officials were describing the process as one of "recovery."

Besides the dead in Mississippi and Arkansas, at least three died in Alabama, two in Iowa and one in Oklahoma.

After two days of destruction opened Sunday in the Midwest and continued Monday into the South, some didn't take any chances late Tuesday with yet more tornado watches.

Simon Turner and her 7-year-old son, Christopher, scrambled to a shelter in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday afternoon after hearing a tornado watch had been issued around that city.

Frightened by memories of a killer tornado that partly demolished Tuscaloosa three years ago, the Turners had opted for refuge in a school with a reinforced hallway. "We'll be here till they say it's OK to leave," Turner said before the all-clear came.

Sunday was the anniversary of an outbreak of more than 60 tornadoes that killed more than 250 people across Alabama on April 27, 2011.

The dead Monday included University of Alabama swimmer John Servati, who authorities say took shelter in the basement of a home when a retaining wall collapsed. Servati was a business major on the dean's list.

Some survived or died amid split-second decisions.

William Quinn, 25, and others dove under the gap beneath a house in Mars Hill, Miss., seconds before a tornado blew heavily damaged the home and sheared off the roofs of nearby poultry houses. He called his decision "a spur of the moment thing."

But in the southern Tennessee community of Fayetteville, a married couple was killed Monday in a tornado after returning to their mobile home after mistakenly believing the danger had passed, a neighbor said. Authorities identified the victims as John Prince, 60, and his wife Karen, 44.

"We pulled up, and were in shocked seeing our own home. But then we saw Karen's father, and he said 'John and Karen are gone - They didn't make it,'" recalled neighbor Tiffani Danner. She had left and came back to find her own home destroyed as well.

Darrell Haney, in a home nearby, thought that community was out of the woods when TV switched from tornado warnings back to regular programming - then suddenly cut back to a possible tornado.

Haney quickly plucked up two grandchildren and huddled in a bathroom with his wife, daughter and son-in-law. Almost immediately, he said, a tree crashed into a front room where one of the children had been sleeping. The roof was lifted off of the master bedroom.

"The house is being torn apart around you, and we're just crying out, 'God protect us,'" Haney said. "Because at that point you're totally hopeless and helpless."

Elsewhere, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe visited several homes Tuesday that were damaged by a deadly twister, stopping at one location where three members of a family were killed. Three of Arkansas' 15 deaths were a father and two daughters and Beebe spoke to survivors, including two of the man's other daughters.

"It was kind of heartbreaking those two little girls that I talked to that lost two of their siblings and their dad," Beebe said afterward. "That's utter destruction up there ... and these people need to know that folks care about them."

Please consider helping the victims of the tornadoes through Network for Good.

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