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Deadly storms sweep central U.S.

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Marengo, a rural town in Indiana, severely damaged by storm.

Marengo resident Randall Meriwether describes destruction.

Severe weather hits Indiana and Kentucky.

• Storms destroy homes, strand residents
Warnings (Weather)

(CNN) -- The severe weather that brought 84 tornado sightings across eight states Sunday was responsible for three deaths, taking the death toll from the weekend storms to eight, officials said Monday.

A powerful band of severe storms stretched from Texas to the Great Lakes, sweeping eastward from Missouri to Kentucky, smashing homes and downing trees and power lines, authorities said.

Heavy rain pounded parts of the East on Monday, but there were no tornadoes or tornado warnings.

Darren Clark, 39, was killed Sunday in the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Berkeley when heavy winds broke off part of a tree, causing it to land on the roof of the vehicle he was driving, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

In south-central Tennessee, a 7-year-old girl died after a wall collapsed in her brick home, according to Roy Griggs, interim director of the Giles County Ambulance Service.

In Marengo, Indiana -- one of the worst hit areas -- an elderly man died Sunday when a twister turned his mobile home upside down, the Crawford County Sheriff's Department said.

The victim's neighbor, Randall Meriwether, said he went out to survey the damage after the twister passed through the area and saw the home upside down. "I got in and got the stuff off him. But he was already gone," Meriwether said.

The tornado damaged as many 100 houses in the small southern Indiana community, the sheriff's department said, and dozens of residents spent the night on cots in Crawford County High School, where the Red Cross set up a shelter.

Indiana Emergency Management Agency spokesman Alden Taylor said a nursing home had "part of its roof peeled back" and houses and shopping centers were damaged.

About 13,000 people on the south side of Indianapolis lost power; by Monday morning less than half had power restored, he said.

At least seven tornadoes were reported in the Indianapolis area, the National Weather Service said. The storms hindered crowds leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The barrage of tornadoes followed severe weather Saturday; five deaths Saturday were blamed on the weather. About 175 tornadoes were reported over the weekend.

In Kansas, two people were killed Saturday as a result of heavy winds, said Joy Moser, director of public affairs for the state's emergency management office.

One of the fatalities was state Sen. Stan Clark, who was crushed between two semitrucks while driving in western Kansas because he couldn't see clearly amid winds that reached up to 70 mph, Moser said. A second person also died in a car accident blamed on the wind, Moser said, but she did know the details.

In addition, three people were killed Saturday in rural Missouri, according to a spokesman for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, but no details were available.

A string of twisters Sunday also ravaged north-central Kentucky and southern Indiana as weather officials scrambled to issue warnings.

A tornado touched down about 4 p.m. Sunday in Ballardsville, Kentucky, near Louisville.

In Harrison County, Kentucky, witnesses in the storm's path reported wind damage and debris.

"I've seen a lot of trees down. It hit a building and took out the back part of the building," said a caller to Louisville TV station WHAS. "I heard transformers blowing up. The wind picked up heavy trees. It was crazy. It was just a lot of debris."

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings from eastern Texas up into Wisconsin and Minneapolis and east to Ohio, or from the middle Mississippi Valley to the Ohio River Valley.

By early Monday, the leading edge of the band of storms reached from northern Louisiana eastward through Mississippi, north Alabama, northwest Georgia, east Tennessee, west North Carolina and West Virginia.

West Virginia, which declared a state of emergency in seven counties Friday due to severe weather, extended that declaration Monday to include three more counties.

The counties are in the southern and central parts of the state, including around the capital of Charleston, said a spokeswoman for Gov. Bob Wise.

High winds, not tornadoes, were blamed for downed trees and power lines in east Tennessee and northwest Georgia in the hours before sunrise Monday.

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