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Twisters Hit Kansas, Louisiana

An apparent tornado touched down shortly before 8 a.m. Monday morning on the east side of Wichita, Kansas, tearing the roof off a strip mall shopping center. Police report fires in the area (Kellogg and Oliver) and heavy rain, but no serious injuries.

Recovery and rebuilding efforts were under way in northwest Louisiana, where hundreds of people lost their homes when a tornado tore through on Saturday, ripping up trees and tossing trailers.

The huge twister left a four-mile trail of destruction when it touched down late Saturday near Benton, La., 10 miles north of Shreveport. The hardest-hit area was a mobile-home park where trailers were tossed about like toys.

Six people died, and at least nine others remained hospitalized Sunday in critical or guarded condition, hospital officials said.

In addition, "We have at least another 100 of what I call walking wounded - people that were hurt but didn't need to be hospitalized," said Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen.

An estimated 200 to 250 were left homeless by the disaster, said Ed Baswell, public affairs officer of Bossier Parish.

He said residents received some warning, "but the storm was moving so fast, I think it would have been almost impossible, really, to warn people adequately."

On Monday, residents of a mobile home that was hit by the twister will be allowed to sort through their belongings. After that, the National Guard will begin to move the debris

To make matters worse, torrential rainstorms hit the area Sunday night, flooding streets and submerging cars in Shreveport and Bossier City.

"You see this on television and you think, `Wow, those poor people,'" said Tom Miles, as he looked at the toppled walls of his house. "Then you turn off the TV and forget it. We're the ones in those sad pictures now."

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