Deadly Tornado Blows Vehicles Off North Carolina Highway as Storms Rake Four States

Authorities combed through the wreckage Friday caused by a twister that killed one person and injured three others in central North Carolina — part of a storm system that swept through the Southeast and the mid-Atlantic, leaving damaged homes and businesses in its wake.

One person was killed when a small truck overturned in a parking lot just west of Greensboro, said Guilford County emergency services director Alan Perdue. He said three others were injured, one when the storm knocked down a wall at a distributing business, and two others when their vehicles flipped off the road.

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Authorities were looking for any other victims in an industrial park on the edge of town.

Dan Ozimek, director of Forsyth County EMS in North Carolina, said about a half-dozen homes were damaged in the Clemmons area just west of Winston-Salem, including one home that was leveled. Ozimek said a woman and two children in the home had moved to the basement shortly before the storm arrived.

"That made a big difference," Ozimek said. "We've dodged a bullet. We were real fortunate."

Michelle Brock, assistant coordinator for Forsyth County emergency management, said firefighters rescued five people because of flooding in Winston-Salem. She said high water had displaced about 10 people.

Davie County Manager Terry Bralley said four or five homes were severely damaged by the storm but no one was badly injured.

"We were lucky," Bralley said.

Julia Jarema, a spokeswoman with the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said the storm blew three tractor-trailers off Interstate 40. It wasn't immediately known if anyone was injured.

Earlier Thursday, an apparent tornado wrecked a shopping area in Mississippi and strong winds flipped a mobile home in Alabama. In south-central Tennessee, at least four homes and a few barns were reported damaged.

The storm made its way to Virginia and Maryland late Thursday and early Friday, leaving between 75 and 100 homes in northeastern Virginia damaged — about 30 of them severely, said Stafford County spokeswoman Cathy Riddle. She said two people were injured; one of them was taken to a hospital and later released. Dozens of residents were taken to a temporary shelter at a middle school.

Portions of northern and central Virginia and southern Maryland remained under a flood warning Friday morning.