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Deadly Storms Hit Central Florida


Deadly storms hit the central part of the southern U.S. state of Florida early Friday.

Officials say 14 people were killed and many homes in four counties were destroyed. Lake county officials say a church in their county was demolished.

Florida governor Charlie Crist has declared a state of emergency for Volusia, Sumter, Lake and Seminole counties. He said the priority is to "search and rescue."

The storms could not be immediately confirmed as tornados, but continued tornado warnings have been issued.

Several accidents were reported on a major interstate highway, closing the route for hours.

A spokesman for emergency management confirmed reports of 20,000 people without power and said the number may grow.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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