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Deadly Tornadoes Again Touch Down in US

An employee of Henryville High School in Henryville, Indiana, examines the remains of the building following severe storms and tornadoes, March 2, 2012.

Tornadoes spawned by powerful storms have raked several states across the United States, causing at least 27 deaths and widespread destruction.

Officials said all the confirmed deaths Friday were in Indiana and were quoted as saying the town of Marysville was "completely gone" following the tornado outbreak. In the state's Henryville area, the severe weather caused extensive damage to a high school, but only minor injuries were reported.

Media reports say there also was heavy damage near Louisville, Kentucky, where another tornado touched down on Friday evening.

Tornadoes hit earlier in the day in the southern state of Alabama, sending some residents to hospitals. One of the twisters damaged the roof of a maximum-security prison. Authorities say despite significant damage to the roof and the prison fence, none of the more than 2,000 inmates escaped.

A devastating tornado struck the Huntsville area nearly a year ago. Soon after Friday's twisters hit near the same place, resident Tara DuBose-Schmitt, a teacher and mother of two, said, "I'm rattled [worried]."

Twisters also were confirmed Friday in central Tennessee. Dozens of school systems sent children home early to avoid possible strong winds, heavy rain, and large-sized hail as well as tornadoes. Tornado warnings were issued for a number of counties across central and eastern Tennessee.

The severe weather comes just two days after tornadoes cut a path of destruction through the central and southern parts of the U.S., killing 13 people.

The powerful storm system tore through neighborhoods in the states of Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee on Wednesday, and spawned tornadoes in Kansas and Kentucky.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.