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Nine dead as twisters hit several states

Eight dead in Tennessee county

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National Weather Service
Tornado

(CNN) -- Nine people were killed Sunday as severe weather raked parts of four states.

At least eight people were killed late Sunday when a tornado slammed into northwestern Tennessee's Dyer County, according to Tennessee Emergency Management spokesman Tom Pickering.

A 42-year-old man was killed when winds toppled a mobile home in Essex, Missouri, Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner said. The man's 12-year-old son was injured.

Twisters on Sunday tore through a series of towns. Heavy damage was reported in parts of northeastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, central Illinois and western Tennessee.

Emergency officials sealed off Marmaduke, Arkansas, as they worked to cope with tornado damage Sunday evening. The National Weather Service described the damage as heavy.

Just 30 miles to the east, a tornado raked through Pemiscot County, Missouri, where a sheriff's spokesman said several communities, including Caruthersville, were hit "very hard." The electricity was out to the entire town of Caruthersville, she said.

Tornadoes in six central Illinois counties caused heavy damage in some communities, according to emergency officials and the National Weather Service. No serious injuries or deaths have been reported there.

A long front of severe weather stretched "pretty much from north to south" in Illinois, and the most powerful cell appeared to follow an eastward path along Interstate 72, according to Illinois Emergency Management spokeswoman Patti Thompson.

The hardest-hit community in the state might be Taylorville, in Christian County. Homes and businesses have suffered significant damage, according to Taylorville Emergency Management Director George Michael Crews.

"We do not have any life-safety concerns," Crews said. Only minor injuries have been reported, he said.

The American Red Cross was on the scene helping residents find shelter for the night, he said.

The National Weather Service also reported tornadoes touching down in the Illinois counties of Champaign, McLean, Macon, Piatt and Sangamon. Initial reports noted downed utility poles and trees, and damaged roofs.

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