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Americans in more than a dozen states faced the heartbreaking task of cleaning up Thursday afternoon after a dangerous storm system swept the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, spawning killer tornadoes.

At least nine people were killed with as many as 48 tornadoes reported on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the storm system threatened to topple more trees as a brutal line of winds plowed through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Virginia saw the majority of deaths — four — and residents were struggling to keep stock of what they lost as they sifted through the debris…

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