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Great Plains in the path of 'derecho' winds; South to get more rain

Severe weather and flooding has swamped states from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest, with 11 tornadoes and serious damage reported from the storms.

Widespread wind and rain is forecast to move eastward in the coming days across the Great Plains -- from North Dakota to Kansas City, meteorologists said Friday.

The wind phenomenon is known as a "derecho," which forecasters say is a line of intense and fast-moving winds that move across great distances. Gusts could approach 60 mph, experts said.

"Bismarck, N.D.; Pierre, S.D.; and North Platte, Neb., are likely to be affected during the late afternoon to the early evening hours on Friday," Eddie Walker of said. "As Friday night progresses, the storms will congeal into a bowing line with high winds and flooding rainfall in the eastern parts of the Dakotas and Nebraska."

Elsewhere, severe storms were forecast in the South Friday, from Alabama to Atlanta, with wind and flash flooding possible.

The southern storm will eventually slow in the mid-Atlantic and produce more rain from Virginia to South Carolina. Up to 4 inches are expected in parts of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia, areas still recovering from other recent storms.

Alerts were posted Friday in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Alabama and Georgia.

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