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A building razed by a tornado in Monroe, Louisiana, on Sunday. Photo: City of Monroe/Twitter

A powerful storm system that spawned tornadoes in the South Sunday and Monday has killed at least 33 people, authorities say. PowerOutage.US said the storms left almost 1.3 million people without power from Texas to Maine Monday afternoon.

The big picture: It was the deadliest tornado outbreak since 35 people were killed in the central and southern U.S. in April 2014, per NOAA. The storms struck as many were under stay-at-home orders and other restrictions imposed in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

  • The system brought with it damaging gusts of wind, hail and heavy rain, causing flash flooding in some places, prompting the governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to declare states of emergency.

The state of play: In Mississippi, the Emergency Management Agency said in a statement on Monday the severe weather had killed 11 people and left more than 72,000 customers without power in the state.

  • South Carolina Gov. Gov. Henry McMaster told a news conference nine people lost their lives in the storm.
  • In Georgia, seven people died when a tornado ripped through Murray County, officials said. A man died in Bartow County when a tree fell on his bedroom, a coroner told local media.
  • Tennessee officials said three people were killed, per AP.
  • Arkansas reported one death from a falling tree and a trail of destruction after a tornado struck there, officials told local media.
  • In North Carolina, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said a woman died when a tree fell on her in the storms, AP reports.
  • In Pennsylvania, stormes downed trees across the state, AP notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden weighs retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star general Lloyd Austin as his nominee for Defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
1 hour ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.