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Violent Weather Taking Toll on States

Iowa was one of 17 states whacked this year by an UNUSUALLY severe outbreak of storms, with financial, public safety, infrastructure and environmental repercussions that could take state officials years to resolve. Hurricane season started June 1, so more states could face disasters. But already 2008 has been UNUSUAL, meteorologists say, because of the frequency of fast-moving storms that have occurred at night in populated areas. About 60 people a year die in tornadoes, but this year 118 have been killed, the most in 10 years. The burst of violent weather began on Feb. 5 when 87 tornadoes swept across Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, killing 56 people. Since then, tornadoes have struck Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Multiple heavy thunderstorms have pelted Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, leading to flooding.

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