(CBSNews.com) - A new round of twister-spawning storms swept through the South on Monday, killing at least nine people in Mississippi and Alabama as emergency officials in Arkansas searched for survivors in the debris left by a powerful tornado that carved in 80-mile path of destruction through suburban Little Rock.
At least 17 people were killed by Sunday's storms, 15 in Arkansas and two elsewhere.
In Mississippi, seven people were believed killed, said state Director of Health Protection Jim Craig.One of the victims was a woman killed in a traffic accident that occurred during a storm in Verona, south of Tupelo. Lee County coroner Carolyn Gillentine Greene said the vehicle may have been blwon off the road or hydroplaned.In northern Alabama, two deaths occurred at the Billy Bob Trailer Park west of Athens, Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely told CBS affiliate WHNT.
Limestone County Commissioner Bill Latimer said he had received reports of more deaths but those had not been confirmed. At least 45 people were injured in Winston County, University of Mississippi Medical Center spokesman Jack Mazurak said.
Homes, businesses destroyed after a tornado tears through a Kansas town, leaving dozens seriously injured. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
Meanwhile, authorities in Arkansas were picking through the debris left by a massive tornado that plowed through the Little Rock area on Sunday. Fifteen people were killed in Arkansas, while separate tornadoes killed one person in Oklahoma and one in Iowa. The tornado that slammed into Vilonia, Ark., about 10 miles west of the state capital, on Sunday evening grew to about half a mile wide and was among a rash of tornadoes and heavy storms that rumbled across the center and south of the country overnight. The National Weather Service warned that more tornadoes, damaging winds and very large hail would strike in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana on Monday.
"We've got a powerful storm system affecting the eastern two-thirds of the United States over the next few days," said Russell Schneider, director of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
The National Weather Service said at least 31 twisters have been reported since Sunday, and there is widespread damage in several states.