Tornadoes yesterday touched down in Mississippi and Indiana, the National Weather Service said. The spring-like storms damaged buildings and knocked down trees, and thousands of people were without power in Indiana and Arkansas.

A tornado touched down in northwest Mississippi, said Jim Belles, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Memphis, Tennessee. Television images showed the tornado appeared to be on the ground for more than 10 minutes. Interstate 55 was closed in both directions as the tornado approached, the Mississippi Highway Patrol said.

After an EF-1 tornado struck the south Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, television stations showed pictures of damage including a portion of a roof blown off a veterinary office.

The biggest threat for tornadoes was in a region of 3.7 million people in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas and parts of Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, according to the national Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma. Twisters were possible from midday yesterday through the evening.

Elsewhere, the Northeast enjoyed spring-like temperatures as people rushed to finish last-minute shopping. In Alabama, heavy rains overnight left some downtown Mobile streets flooded during the morning rush hour.

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