WEATHER

Mobile tornado 2012: Alabama, south socked by Christmas day storms

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As the storm moved east, New England state highway departments were treating roads and getting ready to mobilize with snowfall forecasts of a foot or more that was expected to start falling late Wednesday and through Thursday.

"People are picking up salt and a lot of shovels today," said Andy Greenwood, an assistant manager at Aubuchon Hardware in Keene, N.H.

As usual, winter-sports enthusiasts welcomed the snow. At Smiling Hill Farm in Maine, Warren Knight was hoping for enough snow to allow the opening of trails.

"We watch the weather more carefully for cross-country skiing than we do for farming. And we're pretty diligent about farming. We're glued to the weather radio," said Knight, who described the weather at the 500-acre farm in Westbrook as being akin to the prizes in "Cracker Jacks - we don't know what we're going to get."

Behind the storm, Mississippi's governor declared states of emergency in eight counties with more than 25 people reported injured and 70 homes left damaged.

Cindy Williams, 56, stood near a home in McNeill, Miss., where its front had collapsed into a pile of wood and brick, a balcony and the porch ripped apart. Large oak trees were uprooted and winds sheared off treetops in a nearby grove. But she focused instead on the fact that all her family members had escaped harm.

"We are so thankful," she said. "God took care of us."

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