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Reports: Damaging storms strike southern US after tornadoes kill at least 5

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
April 30, 2017, 6:57:57 PM EDT

For the latest information on the flooding and severe weather sweeping across the Central states, click here.


Severe weather, including tornadoes, is threatening lives and property across the Deep South after deadly tornadoes killed at least five people in northeastern Texas on Saturday.

Four confirmed tornadoes touched down in northeastern Texas during the late afternoon and evening of Saturday.

The five deaths occurred in Van Zandt County. One person was killed along Interstate 20 in Canton, according to local NBC affiliate.

More than 50 people sustained injuries as homes were destroyed or damaged.

More lives and property will be threatened as the severe weather focuses on communities from Alabama to Ohio.

The severe weather and soaking rain to the north will also put residents and motorists at risk for new or worsening incidents of major flooding. Drier weather will return to these areas to start May, but rivers will continue to rise through this week.

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National Weather Service Fort Worth is reporting that among the four confirmed tornadoes on Saturday, two were EF-3 and two were EF-0. The ratings are preliminary and surveys will continue on Monday.


Heavy rain and thunderstorms are moving across the Mobile, Alabama area through tonight. Localized street flooding is likely.



Several trees and power lines are down across southern Nashville with the line of storms across Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.



Strong thunderstorms near Birmingham, Alabama caused a tree to fall on a house with a mother and son inside. Both were unharmed.



Severe flooding caused extensive damage in Missouri's West Plains, with cars and structures overturned.



Pictures below show the aftermath of a tornado that hit Canton, Texas. The destruction and damage is still being surveyed.



Rivers across the central United States will continue to rise and threaten homes and residents. One of the highest rainfall totals has been measured in southern Missouri with nearly 10 inches in the community of Houston.



Due to thunderstorms approaching the New Orleans area, the Zurich Classic golf tournament was suspended.



As of 9:30 a.m. Sunday, damaging winds have downed power lines, over-turned trucks and leveled buildings across the region.


A warehouse in Dell, Arkansas.



As of 8:45 a.m. Sunday, a confirmed tornado was on the ground near Flora, Mississippi.


Reports say emergency evacuation is in progress in the surrounding areas of Race Street and Mary Jane in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Rescue units requesting boats.


As of 8:00 a.m. CDT Sunday, the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi said there are reports of damage in Port Gibson and Natchez.


Mississippi County Arkansas Office of Emergency Management reports damage in Blytheville, Arkansas.



Emergency evacuations are underway in Jonesboro, Arkansas, as of 7:15 a.m. CDT. A National Weather Service observer measured 4.02 inches of rain on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. CDT.



At 6:30 a.m. CDT on Sunday, a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado is tracking toward Natchez and Stanton, Mississippi. The tornado warning continues for Natchez, Mississippi.

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As of 5:38 a.m. CDT on Sunday, severe thunderstorms and flooding are occurring across Louisiana. Thunderstorms are producing frequent lightning strikes, downpours, hail and wind gusts up to 60 mph.

In the town of Eunice, law enforcement reports that flood waters are coming into residences.

LA severe storms



At 5:14 a.m. CDT on Sunday, a flash flood emergency has been declared for portions of Independence, Woodruff, Prairie, Jackson, Cleburne, Lonoke, Faulkner and White counties in Arkansas. Widespread flash flooding is occurring in this area. Numerous bridges and roads have been washed away, and several homes have been flooded.


As of 4:30 a.m. CDT on Sunday, flooding is occurring in Jonesboro, Arkansas, including near the campus of Arkansas State University. Radar estimates show that as much as 3 to 4 inches of rain has fallen on the area.


As of 3:08 a.m. CDT on Sunday, severe thunderstorms are crossing the Mississippi River into Tennessee. In Union City, tree limbs have been broken and shingles have been blown off a residence.



Central US Rainfall totals 4.30 AM



Over 60,000 Entergy customers in Arkansas are without power as of 2:00 a.m. CDT on Sunday. Wind gusts as high as 63 mph have been reported in the state.

Even after severe thunderstorms have moved through, the threat for flooding will remain high as soaking rainfall will continue through the early morning hours.



As of 1:10 a.m. CDT on Sunday, severe thunderstorms, including those capable of producing tornadoes, are crossing northeastern Arkansas. A National Weather Service trained spotter reports that numerous trees have been uprooted and a fence has been blown down in the town of Sedgwick. Damage has also been reported closer to Little Rock in the town of Benton.





At 12:22 a.m. CDT on Sunday, Adams Field Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, recorded a wind gust of 44 mph as strong thunderstorms blew through. In nearby Haskell, large trees were downed and the front door of the Haskell Police Department was blown off its hinges.


At least three tornadoes touched down east of Dallas on Saturday evening. At least five deaths have been attributed to the tornadoes, according to a local NBC affiliate.


Damaging and flooding thunderstorms are crossing Little Rock and Conway, Arkansas, as of 11:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday. Reports are coming in of many flooded and impassable roads in Conway. In addition to flooding, the thunderstorms could produce winds up to 60 mph, which could knock down trees and power lines.



Local officials report that cars are floating out of peoples driveways in Norman, Arkansas, due to flooding, as of 10:20 p.m. CDT on Saturday.

In southern Missouri, the North Fork White River near Tecumseh has reached a record crest of 35.51 feet, with the river still rising rapidly. The previous record crest was 35 feet set on Aug. 1, 1915.

Tecumseh, MO river flooding

(Image/National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service)



At least two tornadoes left a trail of damage in the Van Zandt and Henderson counties in eastern Texas on Saturday evening. Canton, in Van Zandt County, was hit by a confirmed tornado. Another tornado is believed to have touched down in Eustace, in Henderson County.

According to NBCDFW Weather, East Texas Medical Center in Tyler is expected to receive 40 patients from the Canton tornado. A triage center had been set up at Canton High School.

ETMC Athens said it had received nine patients from the Eustace area, and that the extent of their injuries was unknown.


As of 7:30 p.m. CST, the tornado that struck Canton, Texas, is tracking towards Sulphur Springs, which has a population of 15,000. Also, another tornado is headed towards Canton.


A large tornado has caused severe damage near Canton, Texas, with dozens of cars flipped on I-20.



A large tornado near Canton, Texas, was reported to be on the southeast side of the city at 6:26 p.m. CST and crossing I-20 shortly.



First responders have pulled more than a dozen people from their homes in east Neosho, Missouri, according to the Joplin Globe. The flash flood warning for Newton County has been extended through 12:15 a.m. CST on Sunday by the National Weather Service in Springfield.

Emergency crews in Jasper County conducted seven water rescues within an hour today, according to Keith Stammer, director of emergency management for Joplin and Jasper countys. More river rescues also are being reported around the region, but Stammer and other emergency managers in the region say they have had no reports of fatalities or injuries so far.


A stadium at Oklahoma City University sustained severe damage due to strong winds. Bleachers from the stadium blew across the street into a house.



About 150 roads in Missouri are closed due to flooding, via the Missouri Department of Transportation. Not all closures are marked by signs.



Heavy rain in Missouri is causing roadways to flood. Drivers are strongly advised to stay off the roads.



Central Oklahoma is experiencing widespread power outages due to downed power lines, flooding and wind. According to the OG&E power outage map, more than 27,000 customers are without power as of 1:00 p.m. CDT on Saturday.

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Widespread power outages leave thousands without power in Oklahoma. (Image via OG&E)




As of 11:00 a.m. CDT on Saturday, flash flood warnings are in effect between Tulsa and Fayetteville up across all of southwestern and southern Missouri.

Road closures likely to become more numerous as rain continues to fall. Severe thunderstorms will hammer the region with large hail, wind gusts and possibly tornadoes along and southeast of the I-44 corridor.


An Indiana State Police Public Information Officer for the Versailles District reported Burkhart Blvd. in Seymour, Indiana, is closed due to major flooding.


As of 8:00 a.m. CDT, a National Weather Service trained spotter has reported 7.10 inches of rain in Poseyville, Indiana, in the last 12 hours. Rain continues to drench the area.

Flooding has caused the evacuation of Big Creek RV Park in Annapolis, Missouri.


An Emergency Management first responder in Oklahoma estimated 60-mph winds east of Highway 75 at the Skiatook exit.



As of 7:12 a.m. CDT on Saturday, roads have been closed due to flooding according to a National Weather Service report. In southeastern Missouri, radar estimates show as much as 6 inches of rain has fallen in some areas.

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As of 6:30 a.m. CDT on Saturday, more than 3,000 power outages are reported in Indiana by the Duke Energy outage map.

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Outage areas across Indianapolis. (Image via Duke Energy)



As of 5:20 a.m. CDT on Saturday, nearly 3.50 inches of rain has fallen in Evansville, Indiana, since 9:00 p.m. CDT on Friday. This is over half of the 4.37 inches of rain the city normally receives during the month of April.

As heavy rain soaks the Ohio Valley, severe thunderstorms continue across Oklahoma. Law enforcement reports that a roof has been blown off a house in Talala, which is located in the northeast corner of the state.




Thunderstorms nearing Oklahoma City have a history of producing 70- to 80-mph wind gusts as of 4:30 a.m. CDT on Saturday. A small structure has been reportedly blown into a road near Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.

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As of 4:02 a.m. CDT on Saturday, widespread flooding is occurring near and to the south of Springfield, Missouri. Downtown Reeds Spring is being evacuated due to rising flood waters up to a foot deep. In the town of Nixa, water 2 to 3 feet deep is nearing front porches of residences.


At 2:42 a.m. CDT on Saturday, 7 inches of water is flowing over roads in Henderson, Kentucky. Flash flood warnings remain in effect from Oklahoma through northwestern Arkansas, south-central Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana and northern Kentucky through the morning hours.

Farther west across Oklahoma, severe thunderstorms are generating strong wind gusts up to 80 mph to the west of Oklahoma City in Caddo County.




As of 1:40 a.m. CDT on Saturday, 3.50 inches of rain has fallen in Ridgway, Illinois, since 9:00 p.m. CDT Friday. Flash flooding and closed roads have been reported throughout the area, including farther west in Missouri.


Flooding thunderstorms stretch from near Oklahoma City to Cincinnati as of 1:15 a.m. CDT Saturday. Widespread flooding is being reported from southeastern Illinois to southern Indiana, with some roads closed and creeks spilling out of their banks.

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As of 11:40 p.m. CDT Friday, trees and power lines are down across Berryville, Arkansas, after severe thunderstorms ripped through the town. Hail as large as quarters has also been reported.


Multiple vehicles are stranded in high water in southern Indiana as of 11:01 p.m. CDT Friday. Thunderstorms will continue to train over the same areas from Missouri to Ohio into Saturday morning, threatening to cause widespread flooding in some communities.


At 10:45 p.m. CDT Friday, a confirmed large and dangerous tornado is located 3 miles north of Cameron, Oklahoma, and moving northeast at 30 mph.

OK tornado



At 10:35 p.m. CDT Friday, a thunderstorm showing strong rotation and capable of producing a tornado is located over Cameron, Oklahoma. The severe thunderstorms and potential tornado is moving northeastward into Arkansas at 35 mph.



As of 10:20 p.m. CDT, flash flooding has been reported near Jasper, Indiana, as soaking thunderstorms continue to move over the same area. Officials report water over the roadway at St. Charles street and 36th street. Motorists are reminded to never drive through a flooded roadway as it puts the occupants and would-be rescuers in a life-threatening situation.


At 9:45 p.m. CDT Friday, the threat for severe thunderstorms and flooding continues across the Ohio River Valley into Saturday morning. Portions of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, including Evansville and Louisville, remain under a tornado watch until 1:00 a.m. CDT Saturday. A flash flood watch is also in effect for this area.

Over 1.20 inches of rain has already fallen to the east of Cincinnati in Goshen, Ohio, since Friday evening.



A zone of severe thunderstorms is developing from southeastern Missouri into southern Indiana with more thunderstorms expected to develop in this area over the next several hours. As of 8:25 p.m. CDT Friday, two thunderstorms in this area were showing rotation, indicating that they could produce tornadoes.


At 6:47 p.m. CDT Friday, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Columbus, Indiana. This was the first tornado-warned thunderstorm of the evening and was heading toward Hartsville, Indiana.

Indiana radar april 28

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