Emergency personnel work around a Lowes Home 
Improvement store after it was hit by a tornado
 in Sanford, North Carolina, April 16, 2011

The death toll in the United States continues to rise from a storm system that for three days has produced tornadoes and heavy rains across several central and southern states.

More than 30 people have been killed in the worst pattern of storms to hit the country in more than two decades.

Tornadoes began touching down late Thursday in Oklahoma and then swept eastward across Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and into the Carolinas before striking Virginia.

In the worst hit state, North Carolina, more than 60 tornadoes were reported. A state of emergency was declared there and also in Alabama.

Buildings were destroyed in all seven states. Trees and power lines were downed.

Many of those killed lived in mobile homes in North Carolina where rescue crews are looking for more victims.

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