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Tornadoes in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana: 18 dead, dozens injured

The extensive storm system also brought wildfires to the southern plains and blizzard conditions to the Upper Midwest.

Belvidere, Illinois — A storm that probably brought dozens of tornadoes killed at least 18 people in small towns and large cities in the South and Midwest, tore a road through the Arkansas state capital, and left Illinois in a packed state. The roof of the concert venue collapsed and I left. People across the region were puzzled by Saturday’s devastation.

Confirmed or suspected tornadoes in at least seven states have destroyed homes and businesses, uprooted trees, and devastated areas of the country home to about 85 million people. Seven died in McNairy County, Tennessee, four in the small town of Wynn, Arkansas, and three in Sullivan, Indiana.

Other deaths were reported in Alabama, Illinois and Mississippi, with one reported near Little Rock, where the mayor said more than 2,000 buildings were in the tornado’s path.

Residents of Wynn, a community of about 8,000 people located 50 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee, woke up Saturday to find their high school roof shredded and windows blown out. A huge tree lay on the ground, its stump turned into a hump. Broken walls, windows and roofs hit homes and businesses.

Debris and memories of everyday life littered the interiors of damaged houses and lawns. clothes, insulation, roofing paper, toys, broken furniture, his pickup truck with shattered windows.

Salon owner Heidi Jenkins said: “I am saddened by the devastating blow to my town. .”

Recovery was already underway, with workers using chainsaws to cut down fallen trees and bulldozers moving material from the shattered structure. A utility truck worked to restore power. A group of volunteers got together and made plans for the day.

Adamsville Mayor David Reckner said seven people died in McNairy County, east of Memphis along the Mississippi border.

“Most of the damage was to homes and residential areas,” Reckner said, adding that it appeared that everyone had been confirmed, but crew members were going door-to-door to check.

In Belvidere, Illinois, some of the 260 attendees at a heavy metal concert at the Apollo Theater pulled a man out of the rubble after part of the roof collapsed. He was dead when paramedics arrived. Authorities said 28 of his other people were injured at the theater, some with serious injuries.

“When someone was dragged out of the rubble, I sat with him, held his hand, and said, ‘It’ll be fine.'” Not really sure what else to do. No,” concert enthusiast Gabriel Llewellyn told WTVO-TV.

According to the venue’s Facebook page, the bands scheduled to perform were Morbid Angel, Crypta, Skeletal Remains, and Revocation.

Crews worked to clean up around the Apollo on Saturday as the forklift pulled loose hanging bricks.

Three people died in Sullivan County, Indiana, near the Illinois border, about 95 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Sullivan City Mayor Clint Lamb said at a press conference that the area south of the county seat of about 4,000 people is “essentially unrecognizable now,” and that several people were rescued from the debris overnight. There were reports of as many as 12 injuries, he said, and search and rescue teams combed the affected area.

“Frankly, I’m really, really shocked. There are no more man-made problems,” he said, adding that recovery “is going to be a very long process.”

At least one person was killed and more than 20 injured in the Little Rock area, officials said. Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott said 2,100 homes and businesses were in the tornado’s path, but no assessment had been made of how many were damaged.

Joanna McFadden was at a nail salon with two others when the tornado hit.

“The only way we knew a tornado was coming was the leaves were swirling. That was the only way we knew. It seemed stationary.” said McFadden. They took refuge inside.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has mobilized 100 National Guard soldiers to assist local governments in their response.

A woman has died in a suspected tornado in Madison County, Alabama, county official Mac McCutcheon said. And in Pontotoc County, northern Mississippi, officials confirmed one death and four injuries to her.

the storm hit a few hours later President Joe Biden visits In the Rolling Fork community of Mississippi, a tornado destroyed part of the town last week.

In western Tennessee, Tipton County Sheriff Shannon Beasley wrote on Facebook early Saturday morning that there was “a lot of devastation” and “some serious injuries” but no deaths have been reported yet. .

Tornadoes also caused sporadic damage in eastern Iowa, including one just west of Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa. Television footage showed collapsed utility poles and the roofs of buildings and homes in the area being ripped off.

Determining the exact number of tornadoes could take days, said Bill Bunting, director of forecasting operations at the Storm Prediction Center. There have also been hundreds of reports of massive hail and destructive winds, he said.

“It’s a very active day. But it’s not unprecedented,” he said.

Tens of thousands of people lost power due to a vast storm system that brought wildfires to the southern plains and blizzard conditions to the Upper Midwest.

The number of customers in off-grid Arkansas has dropped from about 90,000 to about 52,000, according to Poweroutage.us. 69,000 people in Indiana, 33,000 people in Illinois, and 1,300 people in Oklahoma were without power. Power outages were also reported in Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Texas.

A hail broke the windows of cars and buildings in northeast Peoria, Illinois. And blizzard conditions blew out parts of Minnesota, the Dakota and Wisconsin, and cut power to tens of thousands in the Twin Cities area.

Nearly 100 new wildfires were reported in Oklahoma on Friday, and firefighters hoped to combat them on Saturday, according to the State Forest Service. The fire was expected to remain dangerous throughout the week.

The crew fought several fires near El Dorado, Kansas, and some residents were evacuated, including about 250 elementary school students who had transferred to high schools.

DeMillo reported from Little Rock. The report was contributed by AP writers across the country, including his Harm Venhuizen of Belvidere, Illinois, and Corey Williams of Detroit.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/nation-world/theater-roof-collapses-illinois-tornado/507-5e459f45-2f8d-47ac-8e08-e306f829ce2e Tornadoes in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana: 18 dead, dozens injured

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