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2 die in storms in Tenn., Miss.

  |   April 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 4 (UPI) -- Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms roared through Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi Monday, leaving at least two people dead, officials said.

Seven people were injured when a tornado ripped through a Kentucky manufacturing plant, scattering pieces of the aluminum structure and roof, officials said.

Paul Ray, spokesman for the Hopkinsville Police Department, said about 184 employees were inside the TGASK plant, which makes automotive parts when the storm hit about 1 p.m. The injuries were limited to bumps and bruises.

"It could have been a lot worse," Ray told CNN. The plant was "very fortunate that at that time, there were very few injuries, and only minor injuries."

At least two tornadoes and a funnel were spotted in the Nashville area, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.

Nashville Electric Service said more than 53,000 customers were without power in that area as of 7 p.m., down from 74,000 earlier, the newspaper said.

WMCTV in Memphis reported Memphis Light, Gas & Water confirmed Ed Bennet, 87, was killed when he came in contact with a downed power line in his back yard.

In Mississippi, the Copiah County Emergency Management Agency said a driver died when a tree fell and hit his vehicle in Hopewell, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger reported.

Storms knocked out power to about 18,500 Entergy Mississippi customers in more than 30 counties, the newspaper said.

Storms that brought heavy hail to the Midwest moved eastward, threatening snow in northern New York and New England. The Kansas City area was hit by hail and wind damage Sunday night, KCTV, Kansas City, Mo., reported.

In Wisconsin, hail described as baseball-sized struck the Madison area, followed by pea-sized hail in Milwaukee, WISN-TV reported.

AccuWeather said snowfall was ending in northern Minnesota Monday morning, with accumulations of 3 to 6 inches.

To the west, parts of North Dakota and Montana got a foot or more from the same storm during the weekend. Parts of Colorado received as much as one foot.

Thunderstorms were expected in Georgia and along the East Coast from Boston to Virginia.

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