Tornado Alley leaves 5 people dead, dozens injured
At least five people have been killed in two US states of Texas and Arkansas and many others have been injured as heavy storms, including tornadoes hammered parts of the southern US.
Over 70 tornadoes have been reported in the Midwest and Plains states as dozens swept through parts of Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Oklahoma on Sunday.
“We’ve had at least one tornado reported somewhere in the nation every day since May 2,” National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Carbin told USA TODAY. “It’s a dangerous time of year.”
“Initial reports said that at 20 to 25 tornadoes formed on Sunday in South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa,” added Carbin from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
The number of dead, according to authorities, could rise as at least 8 people were missing across 5 states.
The harsh Tornado Alley included rainstorms and strong gusts of wind with one tornado called EF3 with winds blowing at 135 mph to 140 mph, according to authorities.
In Texas, a tornado ripped through the small city of Van, causing severe damage to or destroying 50 to 100 homes as well as the local schools, according to Chuck Allen, fire marshal and emergency management coordinator for Van Zandt County.
The damage caused by harsh weather in the US is set to be in the millions of dollars.
Another state severely devastated by the storms was South Dakota where over 300 homes have been damaged in the past several hours.
A major clean up and search for missing people are underway now in several states where homes were completely destroyed and trees and power lines were toppled.
The widespread damage caused by the storms can cost state millions of dollars in cleanup and rebuilding efforts, reported some local media.
Rescuers went door to door looking to save more people from the havoc caused by the storms.
Emergency management coordinators for the county said that “about 30 percent of the community there is damaged.”
The National Weather Service warned of harsher weather in the coming days leading many to step up preparation efforts as this year’s annual storms might be some of the deadliest.