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While listening to an NPR report out of Moore, Okla., this week, I was genuinely shocked. Not by the scale of the devastation or the tenacity of people who have grown stoically accustomed to the damage tornadoes can do, but by a political sentiment that, in almost any other era, would not have been surprising at all.

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At least 24 people were killed, hundreds more were injured and numerous homes, schools and businesses were destroyed after a massive tornado barreled through the town of Moore, Okla., on Monday.

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A tornado struck a beachfront neighborhood in New York City on Saturday, making a general mess of the area and knocking out power but reportedly causing no deaths or injuries.

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Meteorologists with the National Weather Service have reported that the spate of tornadoes that tore across the American South last week, killing hundreds of people and wrecking much of the region, was the largest in U.S. history.

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The death toll from Wednesday's outbreak of devastating tornadoes in several Southern states has risen past the number reported Thursday afternoon in this Associated Press clip, but the twisters' scope and strength are evident from the visuals recorded .

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Yet another round of ferocious weather pounded parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and nearby states Saturday, with tornadoes that reportedly killed at least 18 people just a week after deadly storms hit Arkansas.

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Emergency response teams faced a busy weekend helping Arkansas residents cope with the aftermath of another round of severe weather that pounded the Southern state Friday with heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes. Eight lives were lost, raising the state's storm-related death toll for the year to 24.

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President Bush offered prayers and government assistance Wednesday to the Southern communities hit hardest by devastating storms Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. At least 50 people were killed, twice as many were injured and crews rushed to try to save others trapped in the rubble.

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One of the best things about living in New York City has to be the public transportation -- that is, except for days like Wednesday, when storms pummeled the city, damaging buildings, causing widespread flooding and displacing thousands of commuters.

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