Severe thunderstorms, with winds gusting up to 60 mph, tore through several southern states Thursday, ripping up trees by their roots and tossing roofs, branches and cars around like toys.
A North Carolina man died Thursday evening when winds toppled his trailer home in Pembroke in the southeastern part of the state.
In Oklahoma City, a windstorm and severe thunderstorms sent trees toppling and brought down power lines, reports CBS This Morning Meteorologist Craig Allen. One person was injured when a tractor-trailer was blown over. The top of the truck landed several hundred feet away from the rest of the vehicle.
About 20 other people in North Carolina were injured in the thunderstorms, and two dozen more were hurt where tornadoes struck in two counties in central Georgia. Storms that unleashed tornadoes and fierce winds in the Southeast killed at least one person and left hundreds homeless.
The North Carolina storm victim "was trapped underneath the mobile home," said sheriff's Maj. Jimmy Maynor. "He had to be dug out."
"It's a miracle no one was killed," Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes said Thursday after touring Dooly County. "It's bad, but it could've been much, much worse, and I think that is the message that we take out from this."
At least 25 homes were destroyed and another 40 were damaged. Barnes declared a state of emergency in Dooly and Candler counties.
About 300 people in Vienna, Ga., 50 miles south of Macon, were left homeless and took shelter at two high school gyms. The storms ripped roofs off businesses and homes, and knocked down trees and power lines.
Mary Hooks, 42, operated a beauty shop from her trailer home, where she and four customers weathered the storm.
"I said, `My Jesus, what is this?' and then I heard the 'woooo,'" she said. "I said, `Oh, Lord, a tornado!'"
A few blocks away, Vincent Gaston watched the winds carry away his 15-month-old rottweiler.
"I peeked out the window and saw the dog floating in the air, going around the tree," said Gaston, 27. Neither he nor his dog was injured.
In North Carolina, at least eight mobile homes were destroyed and many more damaged. A wind gust of 165 mph was reported, and a Norfolk Southern freight train was knocked off the tracks near Bridgeton. No one was injured.
"It sounded like a bunch of rumbling coming through," Johnny Hunt said of storms in Robeson County. "I just did a Hail Mary and got on the floor. That's all I could do."
On Wednesday, a string of powerful storms ripped into southern Mississippi, destroying homes and downing power lines as they churned east. One man was killed and more than two dozen injured.