The wicked weather covers a lot of territory. (Image shows conditions as of late afternoon Wednesday, ET. National Weather Service hide caption

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National Weather Service

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says. Courtesy of the Stewart family hide caption

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Courtesy of the Stewart family

In Henryville, Ind., on Sunday, Janet Clark stood outside what remains of her home, which was destroyed in Friday's tornado. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Erica Peterson reporting on 'Morning Edition'

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The areas inside the red lines are where tornadoes were being reported at 11:36 a.m. ET. National Weather Service hide caption

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National Weather Service

A cross stood atop a church that was severely damaged by a tornado Sunday in Joplin, Mo., as a severe storm passed overhead earlier today (May 23, 2011). Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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Charlie Riedel/AP

Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Jon Hamilton

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Homeowner Marilyn Latham stood in the wreckage of her devastated home in the Alberta City community of Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday (May 7, 2011). Dave Martin/AP hide caption

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Dave Martin/AP