A threatening storm that struck 4 Southern states continues to endanger the lives of millions as it heads north.
The storm has far killed at least 12 people and injured dozens of others when it tore through Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. The resultant floods and storms have left behind a trail of devastation.
One witness reported that tornadoes flew cars around “like toys” even as it continued to rip off house roof tops and uprooted trees. Cars were swept off the roads and power lines downed to flatten homes.
Among the states likely to be affected next include Alabama and then proceed to Michigan. The weather man has issued a severe weather warning, stating that as much as 22 million people could be at the risk due to the large hail, high winds and isolated tornadoes.
Heartbreaking devastation in Texas
By Saturday, Texas had been hit by at least three tornadoes, causing widespread damage in Henderson and Van Zandt counties.
The devastating tornadoes killed at least 4 people and led to the hospitalization of 49 others. One person is still missing. First responders all over the state conducted door to door search so as to secure any survivors in over 5,000 homes along the tornado’s path.
The state’s mayor said that the incident is “heartbreaking and upsetting, to say the least.”
Schools are set to be closed as from Monday, including Canton High School, which was used as a triage center. The affected regions have also been issued with a curfew.
In order to have a feel of the natural phenomena’s damage, Texas governor made a one-on-one survey of Canton on Sunday. In his survey, the Governor was appreciative to local officials for the great work done in averting increased damaged. He also called upon Texans to donate money rather than supplies.
Traffic was experienced on major roads as a result of high winds tearing trees and blowing them onto roads.
As the twisters happened, they interrupted the First Monday Trade Days which is usually attended by huge crowds. Many of the attendees fled to bathrooms for shelter. One attendant at the event narrated the occurrence to CNN.
“We saw the tornado drop out of the sky. This was crazy. It completely looks like a can opener opened this truck right in front of me,” said Cliff Henthorn.
Hayley Herron’s house was also hit by the tornado, stating that everyone was left in shock the next day. She added that the damages were horrible and collapsed not just power lines but also fences.
Fear of death toll increasing
Arkansas state governor Asa Hutchinson has declared a state of emergency after the flooding. The Department of Emergency Management reported that at least 4 people have been killed.
Hutchinson extended his empathy to the affected families and thanked the first responders who tirelessly ensured all the affected got assistance.
Besides the four already confirmed dead, a 10-year old girl and her brother is yet to be accounted for. The girl’s brother climbed a fence near a creek while she was swept by rushing waters, read the Springdale Police Facebook post. By around midnight, the boy was found safe but the girl succumbed to the storm’s forces.
Police are yet to give full details of the people killed by the storms, raising fear that the death toll may be much higher than reported.
Residents have been asked to stay at home for safety.