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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The National Weather Service says at least 25 tornadoes touched down across North Carolina this past weekend, making it the state’s most active outbreak on record.

Meteorologist Ryan Ellis said Tuesday the event rivaled a 1984 outbreak that produced 22 tornadoes. The March 1984 event included more powerful systems and killed twice as many people but was largely isolated to the Interstate 95 corridor. Saturday’s outbreak spread across more than half the state – from near Winston-Salem to the Outer Banks.

The weather service says a preliminary count of Saturday’s storms included five tornadoes that had winds between 136 and 165 mph. The longest-lasting tornado was one that traveled 63 miles through Sanford, Holly Springs and Raleigh. That storm had an estimated top speed of 160 mph.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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