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Easter Storms

STORM DAMAGE A woman looks at a home that was destroyed by a tornado near Nixville, South Carolina. SEAN RAYFORD—GETTY IMAGES

Severe weather swept through the southern United States, beginning on Easter Sunday, April 12, and lasting until early Monday morning. Tornadoes and thunderstorms hit states such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

The storms toppled trees. They caused flooding and mudslides. At least 33 people were killed. Hundreds of homes were damaged, and electricity was out for more than a million people.

“Power lines are down, trees are all over the place. It’s hard to get from one place to the other because the roads are blocked,” T.C. Smalls says. He’s the sheriff in Hampton County, South Carolina.

Around the country, people are practicing social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This made it difficult for many people to safely take shelter from the storms. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey temporarily lifted the state’s shelter-in-place order. Mississippi officials announced that storm shelters would open, even though most group gatherings are banned in the state. Residents who entered the shelters were asked to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and stay six feet apart.

Stop and Think! Who was affected by the severe weather described in this article? Why should people read about weather events even if they’re not from an affected area?