Tornadoes Hit South and Midwest, Leveling Towns

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The powerful tornadoes that have raged across the United States continued Friday, leveling homes across the South and Midwest and leaving at least six more people dead, according to ABC News and its affiliates.

At least six people were dead in southern Indiana, reported ABC News affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis. The state police confirmed six deaths to ABC News — including three in Jefferson County, Ind. Another three people were killed in Ripley County, Ind., WRTV reported, citing Indiana State Police.

The tornadoes were part of a series of at least 34 that have been reported in five states Friday.

[ SEE A SLIDESHOW OF THE DAMAGE ]

Clark County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Chuck Adams described the town of Marysville, Ind., as “completely gone.” The town of Henryville, Ind., was hit by two storms in rapid succession, leaving people scrambling for cover in between them.

In Henryville, the local high school was hit by extreme weather, but the extent of damage or injuries was not immediately clear, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

At least 20 homes were badly damaged in Tennessee, which was pounded by high winds and hail.

The storms also hit a maximum-security prison outside of Huntsville, Ala., blowing down roughly 1,000 feet of fence around the prison and causing damage to the roof of two dormitories.  Prison officials reported that the prison, which houses roughly 2,100 inmates, including more than 200 with HIV, was secure and no inmates escaped.

At least five people from the Huntsville area were taken to local hospitals, although the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

Some schools across the Midwest and South closed early in response to forecasts of further severe weather in the areas, many of which were still recovering from the tornadoes earlier this week that killed 13 people across seven states.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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