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Seven killed in US spring storms

At least seven people died in southern states of the US as fast-moving spring storms packing high winds, hail and lightning blew through the region.

The storm system cut a wide swathe through the region, uprooting trees and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people, including in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia.

Skies were clearing behind the system, but tornado watches remained in effect in eastern North and South Carolina as the storms appeared to head out to sea.

Many of the victims were crushed by fallen trees, either in their homes or in their vehicles. One man in Memphis was electrocuted by a downed power line and a man in Mississippi died when his car crashed into a downed tree.

About 20 possible tornadoes were reported around the region, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms were moving across the Carolinas early today, knocking down trees and causing power outages. Power outages were also reported in states further north.

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