A STRING of violent storms demolished small towns in Indiana and cut off rural communities in Kentucky as an early season tornado outbreak killed more than 35 people in four states, and the death toll rose as rescuers searched through the wreckage.
Massive thunderstorms, predicted by forecasters for days, threw off dozens of tornadoes as they raced Friday from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.
Twisters crushed blocks of homes, knocked out cellphones and landlines, ripped power lines from broken poles and tossed cars, school buses and tractor-trailers onto roads made impassable by debris.
Weather that put millions of people at risk killed at least 37 in four states - Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio - but both the scale of the devastation and the breadth of the storms made an immediate assessment of the havoc's full extent all but impossible.
In Kentucky, the National Guard and state police headed out to search wreckage for an unknown number of missing. In Indiana, authorities searched dark county roads connecting rural communities that officials said "are completely gone".
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