Deadly tornadoes roar across South, Midwest, killing at least 26

Houses and businesses were damaged Friday night after tornadoes hit at least eight states. Thousands of customers were also left without power in many areas.

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Update 12:06 a.m. EDT April 2: According to The Associated Press, confirmed or suspected tornadoes were responsible for at least nine deaths in McNairy County, Tennessee; four in the town of Wynne, Arkansas; four in Illinois; and three in Sullivan, Indiana.

Other deaths were reported in Alabama and Mississippi, with another death in the Arkansas capital of Little Rock, according to the AP.

Update 4:33 p.m. EDT April 1: According to The New York Times, at least 21 people across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee were killed. In addition to the seven people who died in McNairy County, Tennessee, the newspaper confirmed through local officials that seven people died in Arkansas, four were killed in Illinois and three people died in Indiana.

In addition to the man killed in Belvidere at the Apollo Theater, three people were killed in Crawford County after a “residential structure” collapsed, according to Alicia Tate-Nadeau, the director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Tornadoes also reportedly killed one person each in Alabama and Mississippi, according to the Times.

Near Huntsville, Alabama, Ovie Lasater, 90, died inside her home after it was destroyed by a tornado, Don Webster, a spokesman with Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, told WHNT-TV.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 1:32 p.m. EDT April 1: Seven people died in McNairy County, Tennessee, said David Leckneer, the mayor of Adamsville, according to The Associated Press.

“The majority of the damage has been done to homes and residential areas,” Leckner said, according to the AP.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 12:43 p.m. EDT April 1: The mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, Frank Scott Jr., said about 2,100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the tornado Friday, according to The Associated Press.

On Twitter, Scott shared a map of the path of the tornado as guidance for residents to avoid the areas so that responders could clean up debris and restore power.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 10:12 a.m. EDT April 1: Cross County Coroner Eli Long told KAIT, according to the AP, that four people have died in Wynne, Arkansas.

Three people were killed in Sullivan County, Indiana, Jim Pirtle, the county’s emergency management director, told the AP. Some residents are also missing.

Other deaths were reported in Alabama, Illinois, and Little Rock, Arkansas, bringing the total to at least 10 dead, the AP reported.

Emergency responders were sent out Saturday to count the deceased and survey the damage following the storm that left blizzard conditions, tornado devastation, and wildfires in some areas, the AP reported.

- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original story: Three people died in Sullivan County, Indiana, Emergency Management Director Jim Pirtle told the AP. Some residents are missing in the aftermath of the storm.

At least one person was killed and more than 24 people were injured in Little Rock, Arkansas, the AP reported. Neighborhoods were destroyed and a shopping center was completely “shredded.” Wynne, Arkansas, reported two dead with destroyed houses and residents trapped in some debris.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday evening activated 100 members of the Arkansas National Guard to lend assistance to local authorities in the damaged areas. Sanders also declared a state of emergency on Twitter, the AP said.

“We will spare no resource to assist with response and recovery efforts for Arkansans impacted,” Sanders said on Twitter.

Passengers at Clinton National Airport sheltered in place in the bathrooms, according to the AP.

In Illinois, the Belvidere Police Department said one person was killed and 28 injured after a roof collapsed during a concert at Apollo Theater, the AP reported. Of the 28 injured, five of them have severe injuries.

The National Weather Service issued “a severe thunderstorm warning” for the Chicago area and other surrounding areas Friday night until around 9 p.m., The Washington Post reported.

Twisters were confirmed in Iowa and grass fires were blazing in Oklahoma days after a tornado hit Mississippi, the AP said.

The Covington Police Department in Tennessee wrote on Facebook that roadways were closed. Police added that they set up a command post for volunteers in order to help residents.

Covington Mayor Jan Hensley urged people to stay home in a Facebook post.

“Please do not drive around if you don’t have to. We are trying to get the roads cleared for emergency vehicles. Our hospital is up and going,” Hensley said.

Woodford County Emergency Management Agency’s chief radar operator, Ben Wagner, told the AP that hail broke car windows as well as building windows.

Thunderstorms also began to develop from east Des Moines to the east of Dallas, the Post reported.

According to poweroutage.us per the AP, nearly 90,000 customers were without power in Arkansas. Over 109,000 lost power in Illinois. And more outages were reported in Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Texas in the aftermath of the storms.

Over 300,000 customers across the states affected by the storm had lost power Friday evening, PowerOutage.us said, according to the Post.

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