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Tornadoes and Deadly Extreme Storms Leave Huge Paths of Destruction

Tornadoes and extreme storms ravaged the Southeast this week, killing at least four people, injuring dozens, and destroying many homes.

Tornadoes and extreme storms ravaged the Southeast this week, leaving at least four people dead and many homes destroyed. 

Twisters and heavy rain fell in parts of Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia from Monday into Tuesday morning. More than 25 tornadoes were reported throughout the southern part of the U.S., which exceeds the month of December’s average of 23. 

Among the people who died during the intense storms: a person in Kentucky, a husband and wife in Alabama, and a woman in Louisiana. Dozens more were reportedly injured. 

Some areas near the Gulf Coast were hit with temperatures plunging below freezing overnight. Workers had to fight through fallen trees and power lines to restore power in many parts of the South. 

Areas of the southern states affected had houses and barns destroyed, and roofs ripped off of buildings. One woman said her pets were thrown across the yard from the extreme winds. A twister that hit Alexandria, LA had a 63-mile-long path of destruction. 

“While most of us slept through the storm, a family is waking up today devastated,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said.

Roughly 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year. They’re created when winds within a thunderstorm spin in different directions. Researchers are working on improving methods of tracking tornadoes, which is difficult because they say the best way to study their formation is by being an eyewitness. This factor makes it unclear as to whether they are affected by climate change, though studies have shown that conditions that lead to severe thunderstorms are more likely in a warmer atmosphere.