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      Meteorologists: tornado touchdowns confirmed

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The National Weather Service says there were at least three tornado touchdowns in South Carolina during a series of severe storms.

      The weather service said Tuesday that three weak tornadoes touched down in the central part of the state on Monday, taking down trees and damaging nearly three dozen homes.

      The tornadoes were spawned by a system of thunderstorms that moved across the state with high winds and heavy rains.

      The weather service said more than two inches of rain fell in Sumter County, about 40 miles east of Columbia, and more than an inch and a half in Florence County farther to the east.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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