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Another round of severe weather strikes the Midwest and South

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Tornado reported in St. Louis metropolitan area
  • NEW: Obama signs North Carolina disaster declaration
  • Parts of nine states are under a tornado watch Tuesday
  • The weather service confirms at least 114 tornadoes in last week's storms

(CNN) -- Portions of the Midwest and South were experiencing another round of severe weather on Tuesday, as a line of violent storms threatened some of the same states battered by a wave of violent weather last week, forecasters say.

Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte said his office has received eyewitness accounts of two separate funnel clouds touching down south and southwest of Bowling Green, Missouri. No storm-related injuries were immediately reported, though one house had its roof ripped off and hail the size of baseballs was falling, he said.

Trained weather spotters reported a tornado was on the ground Tuesday night in Mehlville, Missouri, in the southern St. Louis metropolitan area, the National Weather Service said. No additional information was immediately available.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, issued a tornado watch effective until 10 p.m. CT Tuesday for western Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and north-central and northeast Texas. Tornadoes, hail up to four inches in diameter and wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible in those areas, the center said.

It later issued a tornado watch effective until 2 a.m. CT Wednesday for eastern Arkansas, southern Illinois, central and southwest Indiana, western Kentucky, southeast Missouri, extreme northwestern Mississippi and northwest Tennessee.

Tornadoes possible from MO to IL
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Earlier Tuesday, a National Weather Service forecast included the possibility of heavy winds, large hail and tornadoes in Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, western Tennessee, Indiana and Missouri. The cities at risk of severe weather included St. Louis, Indianapolis and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The threat of heavy storms is predicted to diminish in those areas on Wednesday morning, but the Northeast could experience isolated outbreaks of severe storms later in the day, forecasters said.

Violent storms and tornadoes last week killed at least 46 people.

Three days after the largest tornado outbreak since 2008 raked the Southeast, the focus shifted in the region to cleanup.

"Everybody's been coming together," said Doug Western, pastor of Kendale Acres Free Will Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina. Along with the adjacent parsonage, the church escaped largely unscathed from the massive tornado Saturday that reduced several surrounding homes to sticks.

"That's the wonderful thing about this. We had people we didn't even know coming by wanting to help," said Western, whose church has served as a meal center for many neighbors and a base for delivering food and water to other neighbors by golf cart.

At least 114 tornadoes struck between Thursday and Saturday, according to National Weather Service records.

Twisters hit 14 states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

Of the 46 deaths reported, 23 were in North Carolina, six in Virginia, seven in Arkansas, seven in Alabama, one in Mississippi and two in Oklahoma.

The deaths in North Carolina are the first from tornadoes since 2008, when two people died. In 1984, 42 people were killed in a tornado outbreak there.

Twenty-five of last week's confirmed tornadoes were in North Carolina, making the outbreak the largest in the state's history.

Hardest hit from the latest storms was rural Bertie County, where 11 of North Carolina's 23 deaths were reported.

More than 100 people were injured statewide and more than 1,000 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged, according to state officials.

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue on Tuesday asked President Barack Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to declare a disaster in 18 of the state's counties. Obama did so hours later, making federal aid available.

At Shaw University in Raleigh, President Irma McClaurin decided to call off the rest of the semester because of damage to the campus.

Julius Stukes, Jr., used a video camera to document the damage the storm wreaked across the campus.

"All of the offices are done. Oh, my God, this used to be an office; it's not anymore," Stukes exclaims on the video recording he provided to CNN affiliate WNCN. "Our campus is done. The whole campus is done."

In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley was expected to tour a county hard hit by the storms Tuesday.

Gov. Robert McDonnell in Virginia toured storm damage Monday and met with people affected by some of the six confirmed tornadoes that hit the state to discuss the pace of recovery operations.

"It looks as though the resources that have been dispatched are working incredibly well," McDonnell said.

Later Monday, the governor sent a letter to Obama, requesting a federal disaster declaration to expedite assistance to all Virginia communities -- including hard-hit Pulaski County -- affected by the storm.

The 114 tornadoes confirmed so far makes the outbreak the most active since June 2008, when 136 tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, according to National Weather Service records.

In February 2008, a 131-tornado outbreak struck the Southeast and Ohio Valley on Super Tuesday primary voting day, killing 57 people and causing more than $1 billion in damages, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

And in April 1974, an outbreak of 148 tornadoes struck in 24 hours, killing 330 people, according to National Weather Service records. That is the most tornadoes in a 24-hour period in U.S. history, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

 
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