Preparedness & Recovery

At Least 12 Killed Over Weekend as Floods, Tornadoes Hit South-Central U.S.

Tornadoes ripped through central Texas and floods in Arkansas swept away a 10-year-old.

by Maren Hennemuth / May 1, 2017
A man salvages belongings inside a destroyed house on Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Canton, Texas. Severe storms, including tornadoes, swept through several small towns and killed at least four people in East Texas Saturday. TNS/Jae S. Lee

(TNS) - Powerful storms that generated flooding and tornadoes across the south-central United States killed at least 12 people over the weekend.

The National Weather Service said multiple tornadoes ripped through central Texas on Saturday.

The town of Canton, located about 50 miles east of Dallas, was hit especially hard. Mayor Lou Ann Everett said Sunday that at least four people died and almost 50 others were injured, according to local media.

The fire department said the death toll could rise as people continue to comb through the debris. Dozens of cars were reportedly tossed in the air on the interstate that runs through town.

In Arkansas, a 10-year-old was found dead after being swept away in floodwaters.

A woman in Arkansas was killed when a tree toppled onto her house during a storm, while a 24-year-old died while floating in a stream on an inner tube, the Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported.

A fire chief in Arkansas was killed in an accident Sunday morning while checking an area during a thunderstorm, the Cleburne County Sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page.

The governor of Arkansas declared a state of emergency in response to the storms and flooding, the state's emergency management department said Sunday on Twitter.

Further north, in Missouri, a woman drowned when her car was swept away by fast-moving flood waters Saturday.

The relentless rain led the governor to declare a state of emergency for parts of southern Missouri, according to The Kansas City Star newspaper.

Flood warnings remained in effect for some areas of the state on Sunday. Police said they had rescued 91 people from the high waters.

In Mississippi, the state’s Emergency Management Agency reported one death in the town of Durant and the death of a child in Rankin County. Some 16,000 homes were without power in the state.

In Tennessee, a 2-year-old girl died after being hit by a soccer goal toppled by high winds, police in Nashville said Sunday via Twitter.

Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service in Nashville had issued a tornado watch for parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Oklahoma's governor also declared a state of emergency.

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