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Tornadoes in Wisconsin, Montana spur early warning system

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Data on tornado locations gathered between 1953 and 2004 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center in Asheville, N.C., however, show that every state and territory save for Alaska and Puerto Rico has experienced twisters.

On Sunday, for instance, Billings, Mont., took a direct hit from a tornado that destroyed a vacant arena that the day before held 7,000 people watching an Indoor Football League game, according to press reports. Several commercial buildings were flattened. For all the damage, estimated in the millions of dollars, no casualties have been reported.

The tornado appeared so suddenly that the local National Weather Service reportedly issued its warning shortly after local storm spotters called in the twister. On average, the state experiences seven tornadoes a year.

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