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7th person dies after New Year's Eve tornadoes

Shaken residents spent New Year's Day sifting through the wreckage wrought by tornadoes that touched down in several states on the last day of 2010, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2011 12:41 IST

Shaken residents spent New Year's Day sifting through the wreckage wrought by tornadoes that touched down in several states on the last day of 2010, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

Six people - three in Missouri and three in Arkansas - died on Friday as tornadoes fueled by unusually warm air pummeled the South and Midwest.

A seventh person who was injured on Friday in Missouri died on Saturday, said Bruce Southard, the chief of the Rolla Rural Fire Department.

The woman, identified by the Phelps County Emergency Management as 74-year-old Ethel Price, was entertaining a friend in her trailer when the twister hit.

Southard said nothing was left of the trailer except for the frame, and that the twister scattered debris 40 to 50 meters from where the trailer was sitting.

The women were found under a pile of debris, and Cox died on Friday, Southard said.

"It's like you set a bomb off in it," Southard said. "It just annihilated it."

At a farm not far away, 21-year-old Megan Ross and her 64-year-old grandmother Loretta Anderson died when a tornado hit where their family lived among three mobile homes and two frame houses, Dent County Emergency Management Coordinator Brad Nash said.

In Mississippi, the National Weather Service confirmed on Saturday evening that three tornadoes ripped through the central part of the state on New Year's Eve, causing heavy damage and injuring three people.

Officials say it damaged structures, blew out billboards, uprooted trees and overturned a tanker trailer.

The cost of the storm wasn't immediately known, but it was expected to be steep.

In Missouri, state officials received initial reports from nine counties that as many as 280 homes and other structures sustained damage and that at least 50 of them were destroyed.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said 39 homes and 40 businesses were destroyed or seriously damaged by the storms. The storms knocked down trees and power lines. About 6 inches of rain fell in places, leading to flash flooding.

And emergency management officials in Arkansas say 14 homes and one business in Washington County sustained damage, while in Benton County, 13 homes and five businesses sustained damage.

Missouri's governor, Jay Nixon, began the new year meeting with emergency workers, cleanup crews and residents in the heavily damaged St Louis County town of Sunset Hills before heading to Rolla.