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Tornadoes, Storms Kill At Least 14 In South, Midwest.

At least 14 people died after tornadoes hit the South and Midwest over the weekend, the Associated Press (AP) reported Sunday. The deaths included a fire chief and a 2-year-old girl, who was the youngest of the fatalities.

Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana were affected by severe storms and tornadoes. Parts of southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas received up to 11 inches of rain over the weekend, according to (https://weather.com/news/news/severe-weather-tornadoes-flooding-storms-texas-missouri-arkansas-midwest) the Weather Channel . Threats for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes are in place for most of the states in the region till Monday.

Four people died in east Texas after at least four tornadoes hit the state. Five people, including Cove Creek/Pearson Fire Chief Doug Decker, were killed due to flooding and strong winds in Arkansas. Two deaths each were reported in Missouri and Mississippi and the 2-year-old girl was killed in Tennessee after being hit by a soccer goal post, the AP reported.

On Sunday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency following severe storms and flooding across the state.

"Our prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in the heavy rain and storms last night. I also thank our first responders who have worked tirelessly to provide assistance," Hutchinson said in (https://www.facebook.com/ARemergencies/posts/10155529935177446) a statement posted on Facebook. "This afternoon I declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas to ensure that we have in place available resources to assist counties affected by last night's storms. ADEM [Arkansas Department of Emergency Management] continues to coordinate with counties on damage assessments."

In Texas, at least four tornadoes and a twister struck Saturday destroying several homes, uprooting trees and severely damaging a car showroom in Canton.  Authorities warned the death toll was expected to go up. Three hospitals near Dallas, where the tornadoes hit, received at least 56 patients with two in critical condition, (https://apnews.com/c24380e739594f5bbfe2a999b58f9259/14-killed-by-storms-and-flooding-in-South-and-Midwest) the AP reported.

Rescue operations were hindered by the weather, Judge Don Kirkpatrick, the chief executive for Van Zandt County reportedly said.

"We'd be out there working and get a report of another tornado on the ground," he said.

Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett said at a news conference Sunday morning that storms cut a path of destruction 35 miles long and 15 miles wide in Van Zandt County.

"It is heartbreaking and upsetting to say the least," Everett said.

In Missouri, a stretch of Interstate 44 was shut due to flooding. Similarly, Interstate 70 in western Kansas was closed because of snowfall, according to AP.

In middle Tennessee, powerful storms uprooted trees and damaged power lines early Sunday.

On Saturday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency after flooding and snow to the north from Winter Storm Ursa, the Weather Channel reported. Torrential rainfall and thunderstorms struck central Oklahoma triggering flooding in several areas.

"One home in Hulbert was taking on water and it was coming through the windows before the people were rescued," Devan Brotherton, Cherokee County Emergency Management Communications Officer, told (http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/update-severe-weather-flooding-affect-eastern-oklahoma-afternoon-storms-could/article_f029aee4-d69c-5bfd-9fd0-ab41b0bbeddc.html) the Tulsa World.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:May 1, 2017
Words:530
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