Tornadoes damage more than 200 homes

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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) -- Residents, meteorologists and emergency officials in eastern North Carolina were surveying the damage Saturday from multiple tornadoes that damaged more than 200 homes the previous day and sent more than a dozen people to the emergency room.

Meteorologists said Saturday that tornadoes with winds of more than 111 mph touched down in Pitt and Beaufort counties on Friday, and they were continuing to investigate storm damage.

Elsewhere, Texas, Oklahoma and other states in the Plains and Midwest were bracing for severe storms expected to start Saturday and continue overnight. There, the main threat will be large hail and damaging wind gusts.

In North Carolina, Beaufort County Emer-gency Management Direc-tor John Pack said 16 people were taken to the emergency room when the storms passed through around 7:25 p.m. Friday.

Pack said 200 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. Pictures on news websites showed residents salvaging items from crushed mobile homes, along with snapped trees and a mangled utility pole in eastern N.C.

Pack said the storm appeared to be about 300 yards wide and was on the ground for 10 miles.

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