Deadly storms sweep through south-central United States | News | DW | 01.05.2017
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Deadly storms sweep through south-central United States

States in the South and Midwest have been hit by a wave of severe weather over the weekend, prompting flooding, tornadoes and even a blizzard. At least 14 people have been killed due to the powerful storm.

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USA hit by several tornadoes

A severe weather system in the United States caused multiple tornadoes and severe flooding over the weekend and even a blizzard on Sunday.

At least 14 people, including several children, have died due to the storm front so far. The death toll is likely to rise as residents and rescue workers continue to sift through the debris.

Four tornadoes tore through central Texas on Saturday, the National Weather Service said, adding that it found evidence that one of the twisters was possibly on the ground for 50 miles (80 km).

Read: Four climate change myths, debunked

Watch video 00:26

Deadly storms strike several states across U.S.

Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett told reporters on Sunday morning that at least four people were killed and 50 others injured in the tornadoes that flattened homes, uprooted trees and flipped pickup trucks.

"It is heartbreaking and upsetting to say the least," she said.

Deadly flooding

In the neighboring state of Arkansas, five people were killed by flooding and winds, including a 10-year-old who was swept away by flood waters and a fire chief who was hit by a vehicle while working during the storm.

Rescuers in Arkansas are still looking for an 18-month-old girl and a 4-year-old boy who were in a vehicle swept off a bridge by rushing floodwaters, the Madison County Sheriff's Office said.

Heavy rainfall also caused flash flooding in the state of Missouri, with two deaths reported so far. One of the victims was a woman was reportedly stranded in her car as it was swept away by the floodwaters.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed two deaths, including a 7-year-old who died by electric shock.

In Tennessee, a 2-year-old girl died after being hit by a soccer goalpost toppled by high winds, police in Nashville said on Sunday via Twitter.

Crops ruined in rare blizzard

The same storm front also caused a rare blizzard that hit parts of western Kansas and Oklahoma on Sunday. Local farmers in the area posted videos on Twitter of the howling winds. Many worried about damage to wheat crops.

Another farmer based out of Oklahoma posted pictures of the snow drifts caused by the 35 mph (56 km/hr) winds.

Authorities in Kansas shut down a major highway while road crews waited for snow falling at 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) per hour to subside.

In January: tornadoes kill at least 18 in southeast US

The National Weather Service projected major flooding to continue in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Authorities also warned that the severe storms could hit parts of the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States by Monday afternoon.

rs/rt (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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