Sunday, April 30, 2017

Death Toll Rises to 13 as Floods, Tornadoes Batter South, Midwest

April 30,2017
At least 13 people are dead and dozens more injured as severe storms have brought flooding and tornadoes, and dangerously high winds to Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas over the weekend. Several of the deceased have been children, and at two children are still missing after being swept away by flood waters.
At least four tornadoes touched down in Texas Saturday, part of the same system that has put millions under flash flood watches and warnings. Parts of southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas have received up to 11 inches of rain.
The threat of severe thunderstorms, including possible tornadoes, will continue until Monday, and the threat of moderate to major river flooding remains until next week.
(MORE: Check the Forecast)
Here are the latest impacts, state by state:


A 2-year-old girl died in the Nashville, Tennessee, area Sunday afternoon after being stuck with a heavy metal soccer goal blown over by gusty winds. The Metro Nashville Police Department told WSMV that Melanie Espinoza Rodriguez was transported to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Near Fayetteville, in Lincoln County, a woman died from a falling tree on Sunday, WHNT reports.  The woman was attempting to put her belongings in a vehicle when a nearby tree fell on top of her.


Two children are still missing after an attempted water rescue in Madison County, KFSM reports. A mother and her two children a 4-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl were stranded in high water in the Hindsville area after water swept their vehicle off the roadway. All three were swept away after they exited the vehicle.  Emergency workers found the woman downstream, but the children have not yet been found.
Flooding has claimed three lives, including, 76-year-old John C. Vollmar, who was found dead inside of a vehicle that had been submerged in floodwater in Washington County, 5NEWS reports.
A 24-year-old woman was found dead Sunday after drowning in Eureka Springs, according to She was tubing on Leatherback Creek Saturday when she went under. Saturday a 10-year-old girl was killed when she was swept away by floodwater in Springdale, reports. She and her brother were playing in her family's backyard when they climbed a fence and were exposed to fast-moving water in a creek bed.
In DeWitt, 65-year-old Julia Schwede died after a tree fell on her mobile home, according to local police.
In Benton County, nearly all side roads and bridges were closed Saturday due to flooding concerns, KFSM reported.
The Rogers City Police Department in northwestern Arkansas responded to at least three water rescues Saturday, according to the NWS.
A flood warning was issued until Sunday night for the Kings River near Berryville in Carroll County. Forecasters say the river was expected to rise above flood stage Sunday morning and continue to rise to near 33 feet — 2 feet above flood stage — by early Sunday afternoon.
Flooding is expected along Arkansas Highway 143 and Meadowlands along the river's east bank. Low elevations around Clabber Creek will also be covered by water.
Entergy Arkansas reported almost 65,000 outages Sunday morning and electric cooperatives across the state reported roughly 14,000 outages.


Major flooding across southeast Missouri led to two deaths, 111 evacuations and 135 rescues across the state over the weekend.
The body of a 72-year-old woman was recovered in Clever, Missouri, in the southwestern part of the state, after floodwaters washed away her car Saturday. Her husband was rescued before the vehicle submerged. Sunday Authorities in Pulaski County told NWS that an 18-year-old man had drowned after his vehicle entered a flooded area west of Crocker, about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency for all of southern Missouri. The State Emergency Management Agency, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri National Guard, and Missouri's Task Force 1 Rescue Unit, have deployed resources.
Some of the most severe flooding Saturday night was in West Plains in far southern Missouri. The town was reportedly cut off by floodwaters, and power was shut off to the town because of the rising waters, according to local reports.
More than 350 roads were closed across the state because of flooding Sunday. The Missouri Department of Transportation closed both directions of Interstate 44 near Hazelgreen Sunday morning, the Associated Press reports. Officials say the roadway may remain shut down through Monday evening and the area will be monitored until the floodwaters recede. U.S. Highway 61 was closed north of Troy and U.S. Highway 60 was restricted to one lane of traffic in both directions.
In Madison County, buildings were damaged and numerous trees and power lines were downed by a possible tornado Sunday, NWS reports.
Structural damage and downed trees were reported near Canton in Yazoo County at the intersection of Berryville Road and Highway 16 East Sunday, according to NWS. Damages were also reported along Scotland, Nod, Linwood and Dover roads.
Flash flooding also impacted the area, leaving Highway 49 underwater. Highway 433 at Martin Road was also flooded.
Madison County Emergency Management Agency representative Tom Lariviere told AP that there were no damages when an apparent tornado came through Flora, but the storm ripped the roof off of a water tower. About 25 homes were damaged. A church was damaged in Attala.
More than 20,000 were without power Sunday, according to the EMA.


A round of severe storms that included tornadoes swept through several small towns in east Texas and left behind a trail of destruction.
At least four tornadoes struck east of Dallas in Eustace, Caney City and Canton on Saturday, killing at least four people, authorities said. The officials cautioned that the toll could rise as search teams go through extensively damaged homes and buildings. Three hospitals near Dallas, where the tornadoes struck, reported receiving at least 56 patients, with at least two people are in critical condition.
Local television stations aired footage of overturned cars, uprooted trees, wet roadways and at least two flattened homes, reports the Associated Press. Pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton were flipped and the storm tore through the business.
Damage is widespread across a large area of Van Zandt County, where officials have issued a disaster declaration. A county official told AP that they have crews going door to door dealing with gas leaks and the downed trees and power lines.
A twister tore through parts of the town at about 6 p.m. CDT, and the National Weather Service issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation tornado warning to alert residents.
According to, the Ben Wheeler Volunteer Fire Department confirmed a body was found in a field in Canton as residents began to clean up the damage. At least 56 people were injured. Officials expected that number to increase.
Canton is a town of about 3,500 located some 50 miles east of Dallas. The town is home to the First Monday Trade Days Market, where thousands of people were camping this weekend.


A possible tornado struck Durant, Mississippi, Sunday morning, downing trees and power lines, according to the National Weather Service. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announced that the state Emergency Managment Agency reported a death in nearby Holmes County.
Officials in Hinds County reported that a possible tornado Sunday morning damaged a home and downed trees just north of Utica. Trees were also downed in Adams County near Natchez.
Sunday a man in Prentiss was struck by lightning near his home, according to AP. Emergency Management Agency director Jocelyn Ragsdale said the condition of the man is unknown. His identity has not yet been released.
Flooding was seen in the Vicksburg and Hattiesburg areas.


Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Saturday. That state has been hit with flooding and even snow to the north from Winter Storm Ursa.
Severe storms moving across Oklahoma early Saturday brought damaging hail, flooding and power outages to Oklahoma City.
Thunderstorms packing winds of 60 mph dumped heavy rain and strong winds on central Oklahoma that quickly led to flooding in several areas.
"One home in Hulbert was taking on water and it was coming through the windows before the people were rescued," Devan Brotherton, Cherokee County Emergency Management Communications Officer, told the Tulsa World.
Officials with the Oklahoma City Fire Department warned residents Saturday to stay home because of downed power lines and trees from the storm.
According to, several interstates were closed because of flooding and downed power lines, including I-235 between N. 50th St. and N. 36th St. and I-40 westbound just east of I-44. I-235 later reopened.
One person was injured in Caddo County when high winds damaged a mobile home, according to the county's emergency management.
Lightning ignited a house fire in Oklahoma City, KOCO reports. Lightning is also the suspected cause of a second house fire.
A person was trapped in an RV after a power line came down on the trailer.
In Muskogee, near Tulsa, streets are flooded and residents in the Gooseneck Bend area were trapped in their homes by rising waters.
By late Saturday afternoon, more than 18,000 customers across the state of Oklahoma were without power, the majority in or around Oklahoma City, OG&E reports. At one point, more than 80,000 homes and businesses were in the dark statewide, KWTV said.
Strong winds also toppled an iconic structural arch that welcomed visitors to the annual Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City. There were no reports of injuries.


Officials for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival delayed the event Sunday morning because of strong storms, according to the Associated Press.
Festival spokeswoman Kate Sarphie says the festival was reopened around 3 p.m. Sunday. The delay came as bolts of lightning and rain poured onto the Fair Grounds.


A person was injured Sunday after strong winds downed a tree across Highway 17 in Pickens, NWS reports. The tree collapsed on top of a vehicle, leaving the occupant with minor injuries.


Parts of southern Illinois have been flooded since Friday when rains began.
In Johnston City on Saturday rescue crews spent much of Saturday helping people to evacuate their homes, WSIL reports, moving them to a Red Cross shelter in nearby Marion.
"We started around 6:00 yesterday morning, and some people didn't even leave the fire station last night because they were still on storm watch," Greg Jennings, assistant fire chief in Johnston City, told the station.
Broughton, in the southwest part of the state, was isolated by high water, and Highway 142 was closed from south of Dale to the Saline County line.
MORE: Severe Weather This Weekend

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