Chicago, Dec 24: Storms and tornadoes killed at least seven people and left dozens injured when they ripped through large swathes of the southeastern United States, reports and officials said.
Homes were badly damaged or even leveled as a series of tornadoes and twisters tore through several states, leaving a trail of destruction and ruining Christmas for some.
Those killed were in the states of Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, CNN said. A boy aged seven was found dead in Mississippi, ABC and NBC News said, after the storm picked up and tossed the car he was traveling in with his family.
At least 40 people were injured in the state, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.
"I laid down on the ground, and here came the tornado," Lance Meeks, who lives in Holly Springs, Mississippi, told CNN affiliate WTVA.
"Rolled right over me. Uprooted trees, cut trees in half. And I don't know why I'm still standing here talking to you."
Nearly 70 million people were forecast to be in the path of the storms Wednesday night, ABC said.
"We were in the house. We heard the wind picking up. We dashed to the storm shelter. We had 45 seconds and it hit," a survivor in Perry County, Tennessee, told CNN.
"It looks like a waste land. There's nothing left."
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said the outlook Thursday was for possible severe thunderstorms in some of the affected areas, although there was only a very slim chance of more tornadoes.