Fast-moving storms pound South, kill at least 9 people

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JACKSON, Ga. --- An enormous tree limb that crashed through a Georgia family's bedroom killed a father and the young son he was holding in his arms Tuesday as a fast-moving storm system pounded the South with tornadoes, hail and spectacular lightning. At least nine people were killed around the region, including several who died on roads made treacherous by downed trees and power lines.

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Marcie Moorer and her son Iysic survived a storm that passed through Jackson, Ga., on Tuesday. Her fiancee, Alix Bohnomme Jr., and their 4-year-old son died when a tree struck their home.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Marcie Moorer and her son Iysic survived a storm that passed through Jackson, Ga., on Tuesday. Her fiancee, Alix Bohnomme Jr., and their 4-year-old son died when a tree struck their home.

Paramedics found the 4-year-old boy, Alix Bonhomme III, wrapped in the arms of his father, Alix Bonhomme Jr., in a sight so wrenching that even grizzled rescuers wept. A younger son in the bedroom wasn't hurt, nor was Bonhomme's fiancee, Marcie Moorer, who was sleeping in another room.

Moorer, who was still in pajamas hours later, said she couldn't fathom what happened when the storm rumbled through Jackson, a town about 45 miles south of Atlanta. Her 3-year-old son Iysic rode his tricycle around a relative's front yard as she looked on.

"I'm still in shock. It hasn't hit me yet," said a bleary-eyed Moorer, who was planning to marry Bonhomme in July.

Later she added: "I'm just happy I have Iysic. That's all I can think about."

THE STORMS were part of a system that cut a wide swath from the Mississippi River across the Southeast to Georgia and the Carolinas on Monday and early Tuesday. Drivers dodged debris during the morning commute in Atlanta, where one person was killed when a tree fell on his car.

The National Weather Service had confirmed at least eight of the nearly two-dozen possible tornadoes it was investigating in several states, though the damage in Jackson was blamed on 60 mph winds that weren't part of a twister. The system that also knocked out power to hundreds of thousands had moved over the Atlantic Ocean by late morning.

In rural south Georgia, authorities said 45-year-old Christopher McNair was found dead under debris after a mobile home in Dodge County was ripped from its foundation by a tornado. Authorities say his body was thrown about 100 yards from the trailer, and three other people were injured.

An unidentified Irwin County man was killed when a tree struck his home, according to emergency officials. And 56-year-old Ronnie Taylor, a Colquitt County road worker, was killed when he struck a large oak tree in the middle of the road as he was driving to work early Tuesday.

Memphis fire officials said an 87-year-old man found dead in his home Monday was electrocuted by a downed power line. In southern Mississippi, a 21-year-old man was killed when his car struck a tree that had fallen across a road, Copiah County coroner Ellis Stuart said.

The Georgia Department of Corrections said Robert Kincaid Jr., a state inmate at the Colquitt County Prison, was killed Tuesday morning during storm cleanup when a tree fell on him.

Elsewhere, emergency officials were thankful the storm didn't do greater damage.

Strong winds ripped off part of the roof of an Ashland City, Tenn., elementary school gymnasium, but officials said no children were injured. Seven people working at a plant in western Kentucky were injured Monday when a possible tornado hit, but dozens of others were spared because they were on break at the time.

"We're fortunate not to have any serious injuries or death," Christian County Emergency Management Director Randy Graham said.

In Jackson, the mayor estimated it would take weeks -- or longer -- to clean the wreckage.

Bennie Battle, Moorer's stepfather, said he remembers the sky lighting up as the worst of the weather hit.

"It was just a lot of wind and lightning," said Battle, who lives down the street from Moorer. "It was like being in the middle of a laser show."

COLUMBIA --- A line of severe storms and high winds whipped across South Carolina early Tuesday, knocking down trees and power lines but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

Two elementary schools remained without power Tuesday afternoon near Lake Wylie in the Clover County School District, which canceled school for all of its 6,500 students.

"I heard a freight train. It was so much wind, I've never heard anything like it in my life. I was really scared," said Michelle Grose, the public information officer for the Clover District. "I'm really glad to hear that everyone is OK."

Grose said power went off in her home about a mile south of the North Carolina state line at about 2 a.m. and remained off Tuesday afternoon.

"We're at the mercy of the weather, but we're hoping we can get those schools open," Grose said.

-- Associated Press

SCHOOLS CANCELED FOR POWER OUTAGES

COLUMBIA --- A line of severe storms and high winds whipped across South Carolina early Tuesday, knocking down trees and power lines but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

Two elementary schools remained without power Tuesday afternoon near Lake Wylie in the Clover County School District, which called off school for all of its 6,500 students.

"I heard a freight train. It was so much wind, I've never heard anything like it in my life. I was really scared," said Michelle Grose, public information officer for the Clover District. "I'm really glad to hear that everyone is OK."

Grose said power went off in her home about a mile south of the North Carolina state line at about 2 a.m. and remained off Tuesday afternoon.

"We're at the mercy of the weather, but we're hoping we can get those schools open," Grose said.

The storms left damage in nearly all counties in the northern portion of the state, said National Weather Service meteorologist Blair Holloway.

-- Associated Press

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copperhead
1035
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copperhead 04/06/11 - 05:22 am
0
0
Can't say just how many

Can't say just how many people were killed but know the monetary lose to the penny. AMAZING!

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 04/06/11 - 10:42 am
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That story is so sad. I hope

That story is so sad. I hope someone does the "take up a collection" thing for that family because I doubt they were prepared to pay for 2 funerals.

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