Tornado Outbreak Ravages South

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Monday, April 18, 2011 - 7:02am

At least 45 are dead after a massive tornado outbreak.



"It just hit all of a sudden, and when it hit, it was just 'whoooom,' " said Raleigh tornado victim Sanford Long.

It took just minutes to change the face of a neighborhood from a spring day to a struggle to survive.

This is what's left of Joe Stiles' house. He and his family rode it out on the second floor.

"She had dove down on the two kids. I dove on her, and we heard a loud bang and glass flying around," said Stiles.

The storm's deadly trek started in Oklahoma on Thursday, but as it spread East, the destruction and death toll only grew.

In North Carolina on Saturday, 62 tornados were reported.

At least 22 people were killed…five more in Virginia. The three-day total, now more than 40 lives across 6 states making it one of the worst spring storms in decades.

In Raleigh, three children died in a mobile home park.

Brooks Elementary Teacher Jim Lehrman said, "They were loving kids, beautiful kids. The world's a sadder place today."

But in all of the despair, there are stories of survival. A Lowes home improvement store in
Sanford, North Carolina, peeled apart just after a manager pushed customers to safety in the rear of the store.

In Gloucester County Virginia 14 year old Rashad Matthews made his own harrowing escape.

"I was about, right over there, near the drain. Right over there," said Matthews.

While back in Raleigh, it was a wedding album that survived…giving hope to a couple who lost just about everything else.
 

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