NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Communities across the middle of the country cleaned up on Thursday from more tornadoes and high winds after another stormy night.
The wave of storms hit the east Friday afternoon, with softball-sized hail in Georgia and high winds downing trees in upstate York, according to forecasters.
But the new storms have so far not resulted in any fatalities after a massive tornado killed at least 125 people in Joplin, Missouri on Sunday and a series of twisters killed another 16 in three states on Tuesday night.
In Joplin, frustration grew that hundreds of people were still unaccounted for nearly four days after the storm, which also injured more than 900 people.
Search crews with cadaver dogs were still looking for victims in the miles of rubble left by the tornado, but hope was fading for finding people alive.
One of those unaccounted for was confirmed dead on Thursday. Skyular Logsdon, a 16-month-old boy ripped from his mother’s arms during the tornado, was identified by a great aunt who knew him well, the boy’s father told Reuters.
The fate of the boy touched the hearts of thousands as his relatives searched hospitals and morgues after finding his clothes wrapped around a telephone pole and his teddy bear nearby.
The storms in the nation’s midsection overnight resulted in at least 81 reports of tornadoes and severe weather across at least 11 states, according to a National Weather Service severe weather map.
“It was a very active day,” said David Imy, meteorologist with the National Storm Prediction Center. He said his fellow meteorologists let out a sigh of relief this morning when they found there were no deaths after a day of violent weather.
Thursday afternoon, locally damaging thunderstorms were seen from the central Gulf Coast to northern New England, according to AccuWeather.com.
Softball-sized hail fell on Morganton, Ga., damaging vehicles, while winds downed trees and power lines in Pennsylvania and New York, the website said.
There were reports of a possible tornado in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, according to AccuWeather. Many areas of the Appalachians will be hit or threatened by the storms Friday evening. Later tonight through Friday, the main threat will be flash, urban and small-stream flooding.
The death toll from the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma Tuesday climbed to 10 with the discovery of the body of Ryan Hamil, 3, on the shoreline of a lake west of Oklahoma City, Captain Chris West of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said on Thursday. His 16-month-old brother Cole had also been killed.
The spate of tornadoes this week has overshadowed severe flooding along the Mississippi River.
Flooding also is a problem in North and South Dakota where residents of Bismarck and Pierre were warned of flooding from the Missouri River.
Severe thunderstorms are possible Friday across most of the country from southeast Montana in the West to the Florida Panhandle in the south and then northeast to northern Vermont, according to weather.com.
The tornadoes overnight ranged from Bedford, Indiana to Smithville, Tennessee and south to Farmersville, Louisiana.
In Smithville, a city about 70 miles southeast of Nashville. a market and a gas station were blown away, and a restaurant was severely damaged, according to Mayor Taft Hendrixson.
“It could have been a whole lot worse if it had stayed on the ground longer,” Hendrixson said.
Tornadoes have killed a total of 504 people in the United States so far this year, making it the deadliest tornado year since 1953, according to the National Weather Service.
Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Reporting by Tim Ghianni, Suzi Parker, Susan Guyett, Steve Olafson, Colleen Jenkins, Kathy Finn, Richard Mattern and Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Greg McCune and Jerry Norton