Tornado

Severe weather: At least 6 killed in tornadoes, flooding across South, Midwest

Adam Klotz has the details

 

A severe storm system bringing flash flooding and tornadoes pushed east Sunday after leaving a trail of destruction across East Texas, killing at least four people there and injuring dozens more, officials said.

The line of storms in Texas that spawned tornadoes were among several in parts of the South and Midwest that brought strong winds, thunderstorms and torrential rain, killing a total of at least six people in three states over the weekend.

In Arkansas, a 65-year-old woman was killed when a tree was blown into her home Saturday in De Witt. Police told FOX 16 the woman was lying on her couch when the tree collapsed into her home.

Numerous water rescues have been reported Sunday across Little Rock, FOX 16 reported.

In Missouri, a 72-year-old woman drowned despite her husband's efforts to save her as their vehicle was swept away by rushing waters after heavy rains caused flooding.

In Texas, search teams were going door to door Sunday, a day after storms cut a path of destruction 35 miles long and 15 miles wide in Van Zandt County, Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett said. The largely rural area is about 50 miles east of Dallas.

"It is heartbreaking and upsetting to say the least," Everett said at news conference Sunday morning.

The storms flipped pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton and tore through the business.

Everett said authorities had confirmed four deaths in the area, down from the five deaths reported earlier, but cautioned that "it is a very fluid situation and that could change."

Searchers were using dogs to determine whether "anyone is trapped and needs help, or worse," she said.

Related stories...

Fifty-six people were treated at three hospitals and six remained hospitalized Sunday morning, two of them in critical condition, ETMC Regional Health Care Systems spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said.

Officials urged people to stay away from the area. Rescue workers were dealing with gas leaks and downed power lines and trees, said Judge Don Kirkpatrick, the county's chief executive. 

"It's a very dangerous situation out there," Kirkpatrick said.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least three tornadoes swept through parts of three counties, with two of the twisters tracking nearly the entire south-to-north length of Van Zandt County.

The first reports of tornadoes came about 4:45 p.m. Saturday, but emergency crews were hampered by continuing severe weather, Kirkpatrick said.

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

Oncor, the electric utility that serves the area, reported more than 4,500 customers were without power late Sunday morning. Everett said about 30 crews from around Texas were arriving to restore electricity. Five major transmission towers were toppled and some were difficult to reach. Cellphone service was described as "spotty."

Canton is known throughout Texas and neighboring states for its First Monday Trading Days, a monthly flea market that draws thousands of people and goes back 150 years. Everett said the grounds of the market were spared from serious damage, although power lines and trees were down.

In Missouri and Arkansas, some roads remained closed Sunday because of flooding. Missouri reported nearly 100 evacuations and three dozen rescues Saturday. In Arkansas, utilities said tens of thousands of customers were without power.

Read more from FOX 4 News.

Read more from FOX 16.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.