Death toll rises to 26 after tornadoes sweep across the South and the Midwest
Updated April 1, 2023 at 5:22 PM ET
At least 26 people were killed after a powerful storm system barreled through large swaths of the South and Midwest on Friday.
The series of grueling tornadoes come just a week after a rare, long-lasting twister left 25 people dead in western Mississippi and one person in Alabama.
In Tennessee, nine people died in McNairy County, near the Mississippi border, following severe weather, according to The Associated Press.
"The damage and loss that our community suffered last night was catastrophic," the Adamsville Police Department in McNairy County said on social media Saturday.
In Covington, Tenn., the local police department said the city was "impassable" in the wake of a tornado. Homes were battered, power lines were downed and search and rescue teams were deployed, according to police.
In Arkansas, multiple tornadoes tore through the state, along with severe thunderstorms and golf ball-size hail. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency and activated 100 members of the state's National Guard in response to the deadly weather.
At least four people died and dozens more were injured in the city of Wynne in east Arkansas, Cross County Coroner Eli Long told KAIT-TV.
In Little Rock, at least one person was killed and two dozen were hospitalized, local officials said. Homes, apartment complexes and storefronts were severely damaged, according to the Little Rock Police Department.
"As dawn breaks we start the long process of recovery and rebuilding," the city's mayor, Frank Scott Jr., wrote on Twitter Saturday morning.
A series of storms that included a tornado and baseball-size hail also brought devastation to Illinois. In Belvidere, a city northwest of Chicago, one person died and 28 were injured after the roof of the Apollo Theatre caved in.
About 260 people were at the venue to attend a heavy metal concert and calls about a collapse began to come in at 7:48 p.m. local time, Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle told theAP.
In Crawford County, Ill., near the Indiana border, three people were killed and eight more were injured, county Board Chair Bill Burke told the AP on Saturday.
In Indiana's Sullivan County, three people were dead after a tornado charged through, the AP reported.
"Our worst fears became a reality earlier when we learned that members of our community have lost their lives," Sullivan County Sheriff Jason Bobbitt said on Saturday.
One elderly woman was killed in Madison County in northern Alabama after a tornado struck her home, County Coroner Dr. Tyler Berryhill told NPR.
At least one person has died and four others were injured in Pontotoc County in northern Mississippi due to severe weather, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
More than 559,000 customers in Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin were without power as of Saturday afternoon, according to Poweroutage.us, which tracks outages.
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