Emergency teams are fanning out across several U.S. states to assist survivors of violent storms that killed at least 55 people. VOA's Brian Wagner has this report.

Federal and state workers spread out across the southeastern United States to clean up debris and help victims of the deadly tornadoes that swept through the area late Tuesday and early Wednesday. The twisters blocked roads, cut power to many residents and triggered an explosion that shut down a gas pipeline in Tennessee.

Powerful winds devastated scores of home, factories and schools, sending debris flying through the air. In some areas, only concrete foundations remained where houses once stood.

Many residents worked to salvage their damaged homes and collect belongings that had been tossed across a wide area by the winds.

Tennessee resident Jasmine Clark said a tornado destroyed her home while her family was inside.

"We heard a big roaring sound and the house was shaking from side to side," she said. "The next thing I know we are all flying up in the air with the house."

President Bush is set to visit Tennessee on Friday to survey the damage and offer his support to those affected.

Although most common in the summer months, weather experts say tornadoes can happen any time of the year when conditions are right.