Washington – Powerful storms that generated flooding and tornadoes across the south-central United States killed at least 12 people at the weekend.
The National Weather Service said multiple tornadoes ripped through central Texas on Saturday.
The town of Canton, located about 80 kilometres east of Dallas, was especially hard hit. Mayor Lou Ann Everett said Sunday at least four people died and almost 50 others 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.
Destroyed vehicles after tornadoes in Canton, in the US state of Texas, in the United States, on April 29, 2017. (Credit Image: © Tian Dan/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire) Photo: Tian Dan via ZUMA/dpa
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 the Midwestern state of Missouri, a women drowned when her car was swept away by fast-moving flood waters on 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 neighbouring 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 Tennesee, Alabama and Georgia.
Oklahoma’s governor also declared a state of emergency.