Severe Weather Hits South for a Third Straight Day, 35 Dead - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Severe Weather Hits South for a Third Straight Day, 35 Dead

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(CNN) -- Myra Hilliard heard it before she saw it: The roar of what she believes was a tornado forming in her Stedman, North Carolina, neighborhood on Tuesday.

Then she opened her front door to see it chew through the tree line across the street from her house.

"I grabbed my phone, and I ran and jumped in the bathtub," she told CNN.

It was a scenario that played out repeatedly across the South as people were urged to keep an eye on the weather, with forecasters warning of tornadoes, high winds and hail spawned by storms that have left at least 35 people dead since Sunday.

By Tuesday night, much of the fear of severe storms that could produce large tornado tracks in the eastern half of the United States, from Mississippi to New York, dissipated after the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center downgraded the threat.

Some storm risks remain, including the possibility of large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding in portions of the South and East Coast, forecasters said.

Mississippi and Alabama -- where tornadoes Monday caused widespread destruction and several deaths -- were again in the bull's-eye for the worst of the forecast on Tuesday evening.

A number of tornado warnings expired Tuesday night in North Carolina, where forecasters say the storm was barreling north. Authorities were assessing damage.

Tens of thousands were without power in the South, where suspected tornadoes tore through homes and businesses late Monday. At least 17 people were killed in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Monday. Those deaths are in addition to 18 others reported in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa from storms Sunday.

Search and rescue efforts were still under way in Louisville, Mississippi, about 90 miles northeast of Jackson, where a tornado the day before flattened a day care center, said Robert Latham of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said the twisters inflicted "severe damage" in Louisville. Winston Medical Center, Louisville's major hospital, was also among the buildings hit.

"One of the confirmed deaths we received is the manager of that facility," he said, adding that search and rescue crews were still combing through the debris for possible victims. All the children have been accounted for, he said.

Meanwhile, the storm that walloped Mississippi and Alabama overnight was making its way through parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

East Texas Red Cross volunteers are responding to help victims in Arkansas and Mississippi.

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