At least 11 dead from Texas tornadoes; 12 dead in Midwest flooding

GARLAND, Texas -- At least 11 people died and dozens were injured in strong tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area and caused substantial damage this weekend, while 12 people died in flooding in the Midwest.

See Full Article

It was the latest of a succession of powerful weather events across the country, from heavy snow in New Mexico, west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle to flash flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest. Days of tumultuous weather have led to 36 deaths overall -- those in Texas, plus five in Illinois, seven in Missouri and 19 in the Southeast.

The full extent of damage along a nearly 40-mile stretch near Dallas was becoming clear Sunday: houses destroyed, vehicles mangled, power lines down and trees toppled. Heavy rain and wind hampered cleanup efforts on Sunday afternoon.

"This is a huge impact on our community and we're all suffering," Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said of the community about 20 miles northeast of Dallas, where eight people died, 15 were injured and about 600 structures, mostly single-family homes, were damaged.

The weather service said an EF-4 tornado, which is the second-most powerful with winds up to more than 200 mph, hit the community at about 6:45 p.m. Saturday. It was near the intersection of Interstate 30 and George Bush Turnpike, which is a major route in the region. At least three people who died were found in vehicles, said Barineau, who also noted that some cars appeared to be thrown from the interstate, though it wasn't known whether that was the case for the people found in the vehicles.

Natalie Guzman, 33, took photos of her family's home in a neighbourhood of Garland, a large Dallas suburb. The garage wall had collapsed and the roof fell in. The only part of the house that appeared to be spared was the master bathroom, where her brother-in-law took shelter Saturday night. He was the only one at home and told her he had just enough time to get himself and his dogs into the bathroom.

"It was worse than I thought," Guzman said, comparing the scene to the photos her brother-in-law had sent the night before.

The destruction in Garland was so overwhelming that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared the city a disaster within mere minutes of seeing the toll firsthand.

"I don't declare local disasters lightly," Jenkins said. "But I looked at the scene for 10 minutes, spoke to the incident commander and then called the lawyers to bring the paperwork."

In the nearby town of Rowlett, City Manager Brian Funderburk said Sunday morning that 23 people were injured, but that there were no deaths and no reports of missing people. The weather service said damage indicated it was likely an EF-3 tornado, which has winds up to 165 mph.

Dale Vermurlen lived in a Rowlett neighbourhood that sustained heavy damage. His house only had minor damage, but was next to that were flattened.

"I grabbed both dogs by the collars and held on to the toilet. I said 'OK this could be it boys."'

Homes in the neighbourhood that had been searched by emergency responders were marked with a black "X." In some instances, it looked like homes had been picked up and set back down in a big pile. State troopers were blocking off roads, utility crews were restoring power and people were walking around hushed and dazed.

Three other people died in Collin County, about 45 miles northeast of Dallas, according to sheriff's deputy Chris Havey, although the circumstances were not immediately clear.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made disaster declarations for four counties -- Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Ellis -- on Sunday and warned that the number of victims could rise.

On the other side of his state, the Texas Department of Public Safety in Amarillo strongly discouraged travel throughout the entire Texas Panhandle -- a 26-county area covering nearly 26,000 square miles -- because blowing and drifting snow had made the roads impassable. Interstate 40 west of Amarillo to the New Mexico border will be closed until Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency as there were blizzard conditions and an ice storm warning out west and flood warnings in the east, where one community had received 9 inches of rain.

Further north, rain caused dangerous driving conditions and flooding in Missouri and Illinois.

Six people died overnight when two separate vehicles drove into flooded roadways in south-central Missouri, Pulaski County Sheriff Ronald Long said, and KYTV reported that authorities recovered the body of a driver Saturday from a creek in the southwest part of the state. Also Saturday, three adults and two children drowned in southern Illinois when the vehicle they were riding in was swept away and sank in a rain-swollen creek.

The death toll in the Southeast linked to severe weather rose to 19 on Sunday when Alabama authorities found the body of a 22-year-old man whose vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a bridge; a 5-year-old's body was recovered for that incident Saturday. Ten people have died in Mississippi, and six died in Tennessee. One person was killed in Arkansas.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • B.C. police make major fentanyl bust

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in British Columbia say they have made numerous arrests and taken approximately $300,000 worth of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets. New Westminster Police Acting Sgt. Jeff Scott called the drug bust “very significant. Source
  • 'She was trying to right a wrong:' Trial begins in 2015 gas-and-dash death

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- The Crown prosecuting the hit-and-run death of a gas station worker says the woman died while she was trying to "right a wrong." Joshua Cody Mitchell is on trial for second-degree murder. Source
  • Canadians only now starting to get heads around pot legalization, forum told

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's provinces, municipalities and Canadians themselves are only now really starting to come to grips with the pending legalization of marijuana, a forum heard Monday. Former justice minister Anne McLellan, who headed a national task force on the issue, said while a majority of people are in favour of legal pot, most don't understand what that means. Source
  • U.S. sanctions 271 Syrians who work on chemical weapons

    World News CBC News
    The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees of a Syrian government agency it said was responsible for developing chemical weapons, weeks after a chemical attack killed scores of people in a rebel-held province in Syria. Source
  • South African man pleads not guilty in family axe murders

    World News CTV News
    JOHANNESBURG -- A South African man accused of murdering three members of his family with an axe pleaded not guilty on Monday, saying he fought with a laughing attacker during the slaughter at their upscale home. Source
  • Dad, woman face second-degree murder charges after toddler found dead outside Edmonton church

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A man and woman are each charged with second-degree murder after a toddler was found dead outside a north Edmonton church on Friday, show court records. The child’s father, Joseph Crier, 26, is charged with second-degree murder, assault, assault causing bodily harm, failure to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence. Source
  • Some Mountie deaths in 2014 Moncton massacre may have been preventable: Crown

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- Some of the Mounties killed in a 2014 massacre in Moncton might have survived had the RCMP complied with labour laws, a Crown prosecutor told a judge Monday. Crown attorney Paul Adams said the vast majority of officers who responded to an active-shooter call lacked full training and requalification in firearms. Source
  • Alberta premier challenges Trump on cross-border trade comments

    Canada News CBC News
    Premier Rachel Notley is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to explain what he means when he mentions sectors that ought to be reviewed under Canada-U.S. trade agreements. Last week, Trump singled out the Canadian dairy industry, lumber and energy as sectors that should come under the microscope during an examination of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Source
  • World-famous iceberg drifting from Newfoundland town, mayor says

    Canada News CTV News
    FERRYLAND, N.L. -- The world's most famous intact iceberg appears to be on the move. Ocean currents appear to be sweeping the colossal iceberg away from tiny Ferryland, N.L., where it squatted this month and put the town of about 500 on the world's radar. Source
  • U.S. slams Syria with 271 sanctions

    World News Toronto Sun
    The United States has issued 271 sanctions in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. It’s one of the largest sanction actions in U.S. history. The Trump administration said Monday that it issued sanctions against 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons. Source