RUTHERFORD, Tenn. – Severe thunderstorms packing tornadoes and softball-sized hail left a path of destruction across six Midwest states, killing 15 people in west Tennessee and at least four others in Missouri and Illinois, officials said.
The Sunday storms caused a clothing store to collapse in Illinois, overturned mobile homes in several states, and pelted thousands of concertgoers with rain in downtown Indianapolis. Power was knocked out to at least 300,000 customers in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.
Half a dozen tornadoes and softball-sized hail were reported in northeast Arkansas, where about half of the town of Marmaduke had evacuated because of gas leaks and other concerns, police said.
In Tennessee, eight people died near Newbern in Dyer County and seven in neighboring Gibson County, local emergency officials said.
Gibson County emergency officials set up a temporary emergency command post, triage center and morgue in Rutherford, where three people were killed. A family of four were killed in nearby Bradford, Gibson County emergency official Bryan Cathey said.
"Our resources were just overwhelmed," he said.
A twister carved a path through a cluster of homes near the Jimmy Dean Foods plant north of Newbern, where several victims died. The plant, which makes breakfast sausages and other food products, also sustained some damage, a security guard said.
In Fayette County, just east of Memphis, home was thrown from its foundation, a grain silo destroyed and a mobile home overturned, The Tennessean reported.
The National Weather Service in Memphis preliminarily reported tornadoes in five counties in West Tennessee -- Dyer, Carroll, Haywood, Gibson and Fayette -- and officials said the storms caused extensive damage to buildings.
In Missouri, strong winds were blamed for at least three deaths. A 42-year-old man was killed when winds knocked over his mobile home near Circle City, Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner said. A second death was reported in Braggadocio in Pemiscot County, the state emergency management office said, but no details were available.
Another man was killed when a tree fell on him as he walked along a trail in Castlewood State Park near Ballwin in St. Louis County, a spokeswoman for St. Louis County police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A state of emergency was declared in the southeast Missouri city of Caruthersville after a tornado caused heavy damage there. Details of the damage weren't available.
High winds caused an Illinois clothing store to collapse in Fairview Heights, east of St. Louis, killing a 54-year-old man, police Capt. Nick Gailius said.
Emergency crews were searching the rubble for any additional victims, their progress slowed by a gas leak, Gailius said. Others were injured in the collapse, he said.
A Kentucky county declared a state of emergency early Monday after rescue workers struggled to get to rural areas because of power lines and trees that blocked roadways.
"We're concerned that there's a lot of hidden back roads that are hard to get to," said Matt Snorton, Christian County's emergency management director.
He said at least three dozen people were injured in what officials believe was a tornado. At least 30 people sought medical care at the emergency room in Hopkinsville, he said, and a couple were considered seriously injured.
Severe thunderstorms also struck Indianapolis as thousands of fans departed a free John Mellencamp concert that was part of the NCAA's Final Four weekend. Concertgoers scrambled for cover as tornado sirens sounded and sheets of heavy rain lashed the sidewalks and streets, according to television reports.
Meteorologists were also trying to confirm reports of a tornado in downtown Indianapolis.
In Ohio, the storms ripped off the roof and chimney from a home in Warren County northeast of Cincinnati. Downed trees and power lines were widespread.
"In every county in southwest Ohio, there has been some type of damage," said Myron Padgett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.