Weather Threatens Areas Hit in 2011

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Authorities and residents in parts of Mississippi that were hit by last year's deadly outbreak of tornadoes are keeping a close watch on the weather with severe storms threatening to hit Friday.

The National Weather Service says there's a risk of
thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes in Mississippi and other states Friday afternoon and overnight.

The main threat in Mississippi is in northeast and east-central counties, the same areas hit last

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell says first responders and shelters are on standby. Fifteen people in Monroe County died in last year's tornadoes, most in Smithville.

Cantrell says people in Smithville are more weather-conscious now and many have emergency plans. But the possibility that storms will hit at night adds to the anxiety because darkness complicates rescue efforts.