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Severe Storms Pummeling East Coast, N. Rockies

UPDATED 9:45 PM EDT, July 1, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Seth Carrier

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While the powerful derecho that tore a path from northern Illinois to the East Coast is still fresh on the minds of many, more severe weather is tearing through some of the same places this evening, along with the Deep South and Northern Rockies.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in place from southeastern North Carolina to eastern Georgia. This includes Charlotte and Wilmington, N.C., Columbia and Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

Other Severe Thunderstorm Watches have also been issued for southern Indiana, eastern Ohio, northern Kentucky, West Virginia, and the western portion of Virginia. These watches include the cities of Cleveland, Louisville, Ky., Charleston and Morgantown, W. Va., and Roanoke, Va.

Not to be outdone, additional Severe Thunderstorm Watches are now in effect for much of Montana, western South Dakota, northeast Wyoming, and far western North Dakota. This includes the cities of Helena and Billings, Mont., Williston, N.D., and Rapid City, S.D.

The boundary between the record-breaking heat and humidity baking the Tennessee Valley and somewhat cooler, drier air farther north is sparking a string of storms racing through the Carolinas and into the Deep South. These storms already have a history of producing large hail and damaging wind gusts.

More storms are moving through the Ohio Valley along the same stationary front, and these storms will make a beeline for the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic tonight with damaging winds and large hail. Even more storms are forming in the Northern Rockies where a cold front is slamming into an unstable air mass across eastern Montana. Here, strong winds aloft will help to produce storms capable of creating large hail and damaging wind gusts.

Today`s powerful storms have already produced more than 600 severe weather reports across the eastern U.S. In Gilead, N.C., two people were killed when a tree fell on their golf cart. Another man died in Calico, N.C. when a shed collapsed on him.

Elsewhere, egg size hail pummeled Pageland and Chesterfield, S.C., while Frankfort, Ohio endured baseball size stones. Near the town of Rural Retreat, Va., two people were injured by falling trees and the roof of a concession stand was blown off. Another person was injured near Hope Mills, N.C. when a tree fell on their vehicle. In Winfield, Ill., a wind gust estimated at 90 mph pulled down trees and did damage to a roof.

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