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Cherokee County assesses tornado damage

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MURPHY, NC (AP) -- Cherokee County officials continue to assess the damage from a tornado that destroyed businesses and homes but injured no one.

County spokesman Doug Clement said Monday that an initial assessment shows the twister Friday night destroyed five homes and five businesses. He says 37 homes and 20 businesses had major damage, while 40 homes and 21 businesses suffered minor damage.

Most of the damage was in five communities in the county and in Murphy.

The county declared a state of emergency just before 10 p.m. Friday. A curfew that was in effect Saturday night for Murphy and the affected communities in the county was lifted Sunday.

An emergency shelter closed Sunday, and Clement says volunteers from the North Carolina Baptist Men are serving meals. Debris removal remains a primary job.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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