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25 tornadoes hit several states in rare Halloween outbreak

EF-1 tornado hits Caraway, Arkansas, causing significant damage across the town on Thursday (Oct. 31, 2013)
EF-1 tornado hits Caraway, Arkansas, causing significant damage across the town on Thursday (Oct. 31, 2013)

An outbreak of strong to severe storms on Halloween last Thursday unleashed 25 tornadoes across several states in the Lower Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.

Tornado and Wind Reports from severe weather outbreak on Thursday. (Oct. 31, 2013)

The National Weather Service completed damage surveys on Sunday (Nov. 3) and revealed seven tornadoes hit areas of southeastern Missouri, five in southwestern Louisiana, four each in western Kentucky and southern Ohio, two each in southeastern Texas and southern Illinois and one in northeastern Arkansas.

The tornado outbreak was the biggest to occur on record on Halloween since official records began in 1950, according to the National Climate Data Center.

The strongest tornado occurred in southeastern Missouri in Stoddard County, where an EF-2 tornado with estimated peak winds up to 115 mph tracked two miles southwest of the town of Baker, snapping large trees and overturning heavy farm equipment. The tornado also removed a brick from the side of a home and picked up and carried three sheds and four grain bins hundreds of yards away from their original positions.

There were also hundreds of reports of straight-line wind damage that stretched from Louisiana and Mississippi northeast across Ohio and Pennsylvania, while flooding rains caused problems across south-central Texas.

Five people were killed in the severe weather that was associated with a strong cold front.

In Tennessee, a 9-year-old boy was electrocuted by a downed power line Halloween night, according to Metro Nashville Police. In Kentucky, a woman was found crushed to death by a tree blown down by strong winds in Barren County earlier Thursday.

Three people died in Texas in flash floods, officials said. A man's body was found Thursday in a swollen creek in southeast Austin, officials said. A woman, 31, was found about a mile and a half from her car in another Austin creek on Friday as the search continues for her 8-month-old daughter, said Travis County Sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade. A man in rural Caldwell County died Thursday after being trapped in his car by high water, officials said.

This outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes came one day before the official beginning of the Fall Severe Weather Season. November is one of the top most active months for tornadoes in the Deep South in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.

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