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6 killed as storms sweep across South

By the CNN Wire Staff
November 17, 2011 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Official: Storm left 7- to 9-mile debris field in North Carolina
  • 3 died in South Carolina, 2 in North Carolina and 1 in Georgia
  • 4 people are injured in Mississippi, but their injuries are not critical

(CNN) -- Search teams combed through rural South Carolina on Thursday morning, a day after strong storms swept through the Southeast, killing at least six people and causing injuries in several states.

At least three people died and five others were taken to hospitals after a storm hit York County in South Carolina, according to the sheriff's office.

"This is considered a search-and-rescue operation at this time," said Lt. Mike Baker of the county sheriff's office.

The county coroner's office said authorities are unsure whether the number of deaths will go up.

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Two people, an adult and a child, died when a home collapsed Wednesday night in Davidson County, North Carolina, according to Lt. Alton Hanes, a spokesman with the county's emergency operations center.

The debris field from storm damage in the county is 7 to 9 miles wide, said Jeff Smith, emergency operations director.

A sixth person died in Forsyth County, Georgia, on Wednesday when a tree fell on a car, the fire department said.

Downed trees, damaged homes and buildings and power outages were reported across the Southeast.

An apparent tornado south of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, damaged "multiple structures," according to emergency management officials.

Four people were injured in Mississippi, but their injuries were not critical, according to the National Weather Service. Homes were also reported damaged near Jones, Mississippi, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

A possible tornado demolished homes and vehicles near Opelika, Alabama, the weather service said. It was not immediately known whether anyone was injured.

Eastern Alabama's Lee County, where Opelika is located, received "significant reports of damage," said Rita Smith, a spokeswoman for the county's emergency management agency. "We've got reports of damage at an apartment complex, structures at a lake, mobile homes and trees down," she said.

In Auburn, Alabama, Jim Goldberg said at least half a dozen trees fell on his property and a nearby home's roof was damaged.

In the west Alabama city of Demopolis, damage was reported to roofs downtown and a boat was overturned at a dealership, the National Weather Service reported.

Earlier, a suspected tornado in Louisiana's Tangipahoa Parish moved a home with four people inside off its foundation, but no one was hurt, according to the National Weather Service.

CNN's Dave Alsup, Jason Hanna, Jacqui Jeras, Melanie Whitley and CNN Radio's Matt Cherry contributed to this report.

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