1:14 PM EDT, April 19, 2011
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Another round of severe storms Tuesday could strike Oklahoma, one of the states hit by a wave of violent weather last week, forecasters say.
National Weather Service forecasts early Tuesday include the possibility of heavy winds, large hail and tornadoes also in Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, western Tennessee, Indiana and Missouri. The cities at risk of severe weather include St. Louis, Indianapolis and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The threat of heavy storms is predicted to diminish in those areas on Wednesday morning, but the Northeast could experience isolated outbreaks of severe storms later in the day, forecasters said.
The South, according to forecasters, has little chance of suffering a repeat Tuesday of the violent storms and tornadoes that killed at least 45 people last week.
Three days after the largest tornado outbreak since 2008 raked the Southeast, the focus has shifted in the region to cleanup.
"Everybody's been coming together," said Doug Western, pastor of Kendale Acres Free Will Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina. Along with the adjacent parsonage, the church escaped largely unscathed from the massive tornado Saturday that reduced several surrounding homes to sticks.
"That's the wonderful thing about this. We had people we didn't even know coming by wanting to help," said Western, whose church has served as a meal center for many neighbors and a base for delivering food and water to other neighbors by golf cart.
At least 97 tornadoes struck between Thursday and Saturday, according to National Weather Service records. Yet more tornadoes will probably be confirmed on top of the 249 reports received during the three-day period, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.
Twisters hit 12 states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. The reports are based on preliminary weather service reports that the agency warns are often revised downward after more complete information becomes available.
Of the 45 deaths reported, 22 were in North Carolina, six in Virginia, seven in Arkansas, seven in Alabama, one in Mississippi and two in Oklahoma.
The deaths in North Carolina are the first from tornadoes since 2008, when two people died. In 1984, 42 people were killed in a tornado outbreak there.
Hardest hit from the latest storms was rural Bertie County, where 11 of North Carolina's 22 deaths were reported and 67 of 130 homes across the state were destroyed.
At Shaw University in Raleigh, President Irma McClaurin decided to call off the rest of the semester because of damage to the campus.
Julius Stukes, Jr. used a video camera to document the damage the storm wreaked across the campus.
"All of the offices are done. Oh, my God, this used to be an office; it's not anymore," Stukes exclaims on the video recording he provided to CNN affiliate WNCN. "Our campus is done. The whole campus is done."
In Virginia, Gov. Robert McDonnell toured storm damage Monday and met with people affected by some of the six confirmed tornadoes that hit the state to discuss the pace of recovery operations.
"It looks as though the resources that have been dispatched are working incredibly well," McDonnell said.
Later Monday, the governor sent a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting a federal disaster declaration to expedite assistance to all Virginia communities -- including hard-hit Pulaski County -- affected by the storm.
The 97 tornadoes confirmed so far makes the outbreak the most active since June 2008, when 136 tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, according to National Weather Service records.
In February 2008, a 131-tornado outbreak struck the Southeast and Ohio Valley on Super Tuesday primary voting day, killing 57 people and causing more than $1 billion in damages, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
And in April 1974, an outbreak of 148 tornadoes struck in 24 hours, killing 330 people, according to National Weather Service records. That is the most tornadoes in a 24-hour period in U.S. history, Morris said.