Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

US storm death toll rises to 11

Ken Sanders sits outside his in-laws' destroyed home in Vilonia, Arkansas (AP)

A second straight night of storms has ripped through northern Arkansas, taking the death toll to 11.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management confirmed that the latest victim died when a storm moved through Sharp County. Officials said the person was in a home near Arkansas Highway 230.

Ten people were killed when a storm system spawned a tornado and dumped flooding rains on western and central Arkansas on Monday.

The National Weather Service issued a high-risk warning for severe weather in a stretch extending from north east of Memphis, Tennessee, to just north east of Dallas, Texas, and covering a large swath of Arkansas. It last issued such a warning on April 16, when dozens of tornadoes hit North Carolina and killed 21 people.

At least 100 homes in the East Texas town of Edom were damaged on Tuesday night, and a woman was injured when her mobile home was destroyed, officials said.

There were also minor injuries reported in Louisiana when an oil drilling plant turned over in high winds.

In south western Michigan, nine people taken to hospital, one with serious injuries, when lightning struck a park where children and adults were playing football, police said.

Dozens of tornado warnings were issued in Arkansas on Tuesday night. Strong winds peeled part of the roof from a medical building next to a hospital in West Memphis, near the Tennessee border, but no one was inside.

The latest round of storms began as communities in much of the region struggled with flooding and damage from earlier twisters.

In Arkansas, a tornado smashed into Vilonia, just north of Little Rock, on Monday night, ripping the roof from the grocery store, flattening homes and tossing vehicles into the air.

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