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UPDATED: Twelve Dead From Severe Storms Across Midwest And South

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 29, 2012 6:00PM

A powerful storm tore through the Midwest early Wednesday morning, injuring dozens and killing at least 9 people in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Harrisburg, Ill., was hit the hardest. Six were killed in the small town of about 9,000 people.

Earlier reports showed 13 people had died, 10 in Harrisburg. Later three more died in Tennessee.

Overnight Tuesday there were at least 16 tornado sightings from Nebraska and Kansas across southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky. Many of the landmark theaters in Branson, Mo., sustained damage. Up to 60 percent of the town of Harveyville, Kan., is destroyed.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared a state of emergency for southern Illinois. Harrisburg's small 78-bed hospital is struggling to keep up with the many injuries. The Associated Press writes:

Back in Harrisburg, the medical center's Ashley said the hospital had ample warning of the storm's approach and moved its patients to secured areas before it hit. But the storm knocked out the site's heating and air-conditioning systems, prompting the hospital to begin transferring patients to hospitals elsewhere.

Some of the worst affected areas are marked on the map below. We'll keep you updated as news trickles in.

View Leap Day Storms 2012 in a larger map