Deadly tornadoes kill 11 across US South, Midwest
2 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
A "big and damaging tornado" rocked Little Rock and other parts of Arkansas on Friday afternoon, ripping apart homes.
According to officials, the death toll from the destructive tornado that ripped across sections of the South and Midwest of US states reached 11 and left more than 200,000 families without power. More than 60 tornadoes were reported across the state on Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. A “big and damaging tornado” rocked Little Rock and other parts of Arkansas on Friday afternoon, ripping apart homes, according to US State Department authorities.
According to LaTresha Woodruff, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Disaster Management, four individuals were murdered in Cross County, northeast of Little Rock. Pictures from Wynne showed considerable damage to neighborhoods and the town’s high school.
Wynne awoke Saturday morning to find rescue teams digging over wrecked homes and businesses. According to The Washington Post, it was unlike anything lifelong inhabitants of this “City with a Smile” could recall.
“We were in utter disbelief,” he said. “I’ve lived in this community since 1985. I know the whole county pretty well. Not being able to recognize landmarks just has me in shock. You can’t even tell where you are in some places. … I saw a storage building laying three miles down the road from where it was supposed to be,” as per the report in The Washington Post.
After reports of tornadoes in Arkansas, the governor issued a state of emergency Friday afternoon after officials reported one death in North Little Rock and two deaths in Wynne. In reaction to the extreme weather, Missouri issued a state of emergency.
According to the fire chief, Shawn Schadle, a person was killed and 28 others were wounded after the roof collapsed at a theatre in Belvidere with 260 people inside on Friday night in northern Illinois.
Three individuals were killed as a tornado struck Sullivan County, Indiana, some 150 miles east of Sherman, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Matt Ames.
Tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Mississippi, in addition to Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee. Tornado warnings remained in effect for sections of Alabama and Georgia as the storm system headed eastward early Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
The violent storms on Friday came just a week after severe weather devastated the Southeast, killing at least 26 people. A nighttime tornado, with an estimated maximum speed of 170 mph, leveled much of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, causing catastrophic damage.
President Biden paid a visit to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on Friday, the hamlet hardest damaged by the storms last week. Tornadoes in Rolling Fork and nearby Sharkey County killed 13 people and destroyed houses and businesses.