Tornadoes in Arkansas & Texas Leave At Least 2 Dead, Dozens More Injured
At least two people are dead and more than a dozen are injured after tornadoes struck Arkansas and East Texas between Sunday night and Monday morning. The victims were residents of a mobile home park in Nashville, Arkansas, according to local news KSLA, citing the Howard County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office added that at least two other people in Nashville, Arkansas, were critically injured, while homes and buildings endured extensive damage.
In the tiny town of Van, Texas — just about 70 miles east of Dallas — 26 people were hospitalized early Monday morning after a tornado ripped through, destroying homes and leaving massive damage in its wake. A Smith County Emergency Management spokesperson confirmed the number of hospitalizations to NBC News. So far, no deaths have been reported in Van.
Van Fire Marshall Chuck Allen told CNN on Monday that about one third of the small town was damaged in the powerful twister. "Damages range from completely destroyed homes, damaged homes, to trees and power lines down," Allen told CNN. "The initial response of emergency responders was to locate and identify any injured individuals."
The Van Fire Department said on its Facebook page Monday morning that the town's storm sirens went off once officials received notice of an emerging storm cell just south of Van. When the storm cell grew stronger, officials sounded the sirens and immediately set up a shelter at the nearby First Baptist Church. "Teams on foot and utilizing ATVs were used to evacuate walking wounded, a triage area was set up at the church as well," the Van Fire Department said.
The fire department added Monday morning that the area was not secure, and urged people to stay off the roads as emergency response teams continued to assess the damage and locate any injured individuals. According to the fire department, there was "significant damage" to the northeast section of the town.
Photos from Nashville, Arkansas, also show the devastating destruction from the tornado...
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore tweeted Sunday afternoon, hours before the tornadoes hit East Texas and Arkansas, that there was potentially dangerous weather in the area. He also said Monday morning that more tornadoes were likely across the Midwest, with Indiana having the highest risk.
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