DISASTERS

Storm Barrels Across Southeast

A powerful storm that ripped through Arkansas and Oklahoma late Thursday, killing nine people, reached Mississippi and Alabama Friday. The violent winds and tornadoes have toppled trees, dislodged power lines, blown off roofs, and tossed cars onto major highways, but luckily no one has yet been reported injured. Clinton, Mississippi, was hit particularly hard by a tornado, but the city's mayor, Rosemary Aultman, said, "We have a lot to be grateful for. It could have been a lot worse." An immediate concern was the tens of thousands of fans gathered for a weekend of races at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, where 30,000 people were camped out while the area was under a tornado watch. Fans have been asked by the Talladega County Emergency Management Agency to prepare to evacuate in the event of bad weather and to monitor weather reports. The National Weather Service has issued a warning in the area through Saturday as the storms make their way northeast.