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April 26, 2011

Southern US Storm Death Toll Rises to 15

U.S. authorities say a second night of severe weather and possible tornados in the southern United States has killed four people, raising the number of storm-related deaths in the region to 15 since Monday.

Violent thunderstorms late Tuesday into Wednesday killed one person inside a home in the state of Arkansas, while a man was killed in the nearby state of Mississippi when his vehicle hit a tree that had fallen on a highway. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency also reported two other storm-related deaths in the state.

A series of powerful storms a day earlier killed 10 people in Arkansas and a three-year-old girl in Mississippi.

Officials in Texas say the storms also damaged about 100 homes and injured a woman on Tuesday. Weather forecasters warned of a "high risk" of more severe thunderstorms in the region Wednesday.

The governors of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri have declared states of emergency because of the threat of flash floods.  Authorities say heavy rains could send rivers over their banks.

The storms are the latest to pound the southern and central United States in recent days. Earlier this month, three days of severe weather killed at least 45 people in the region. As many as 60 tornadoes were reported in the state of North Carolina alone.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.