At least 11 dead from Texas tornadoes; 13 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 13 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 flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest. Days of tumultuous weather have led to 43 deaths overall -- those in Texas, plus five in Illinois, eight in Missouri and 19 in the Southeast.

The full extent of damage from Saturday's storms along a nearly 40-mile stretch near Dallas came into clear focus. Local officials estimated as many as 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Vehicles were mangled, power lines fell and trees were toppled. Heavy rain, wind and falling temperatures hampered cleanup efforts Sunday afternoon.

"This is a huge impact on our community and we're all suffering," Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said of the suburb 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 how the people found in the vehicles died.

Natalie Guzman, 33, took photos of her family's home in a Garland neighbourhood. 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 he had sent Saturday.

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 blocked off roads, utility crews restored power and people walked 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 Sunday for four counties -- Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Ellis -- and warned that the number of victims could rise.

On the other side of the state, the 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, the main east-west highway across the Panhandle, was almost completely shut down. DPS said only a small section of the highway in Amarillo remained open.

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, where Gov. Jay Nixon also declared a state of emergency, and Illinois.

Six people died overnight when two separate vehicles drove into flooded roadways in south-central Missouri, Pulaski County Sheriff Ronald Long said. Greene County authorities said two fatalities there were associated with the flooding.

In southern Illinois, authorities said three adults and two children drowned Saturday evening 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.

------

Associated Press writers Michael Graczyk in Houston; Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas; Maria Sudekum in Kansas City, Missouri; Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis; Terry Tang in Phoenix; and Jonathan Landrum Jr. in Atlanta contributed to this report.




Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Military re-opening dozens of sexual assault cases

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Military officials say they have moved this year to force out 77 service members found guilty of sexual misconduct. Many of the cases are older and none of the members have been released yet, as their files go through what the military says is due process. Source
  • Iraqi officials: Car bomb kills 4, wounds 8

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD - Iraqi police and hospital officials say a car bomb at a police station in central Baghdad killed four people and wounded eight late Friday night. The explosion targeted the back entrance to the police station and a burning car sent a plume of thick black smoke into the air. Source
  • No ebbing in Chicago’s tide of blood [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The dead were comprised of young, old, black and white. There was no special shield for a respected judge nor for small children. All are part of Chicago’s relentless carnage that last week hit a sickening new milestone. Source
  • Warren, Sanders unhappy about Obama's US-$400K Wall Street speech

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not happy about reports that former President Barack Obama will be paid $400,000 to speak at a September health care conference put on by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Source
  • No sign driver tried to brake before hitting gas station attendant: police expert

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A police investigator says there was no indication that the driver of a truck involved in a hit and run that killed a gas station worker tried to brake. Const. Kevin Spear, a collision reconstructionist, testified Friday at the trial of Joshua Cody Mitchell, 22, who is charged with second-degree murder. Source
  • Ontario making abortion pill Mifegymiso free for all who need it

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Ontario government is promising to soon make an abortion pill free for all women in the province. Mifegymiso, known as RU-486 outside of Canada, is a combination of two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. Source
  • Trump revives 'Pocahontas' insult of Elizabeth Warren

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- President Donald Trump revived one of his favourite -- and most provocative -- taunts against Elizabeth Warren on Friday, derisively calling the Massachusetts senator "Pocahontas." Trump mocked Warren repeatedly during the presidential campaign for claims she made about being part Native American. Source
  • Man who worked at Alberta daycare accused of possessing child porn

    Canada News CTV News
    WETASKIWIN, Alta. -- A 40-year-old man who worked at a daycare has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. The Internet Child Exploitation unit says they want to speak with families who may have used Tykes and Tots Day Home in Wetaskiwin. Source
  • Donald Trump to NRA: 'Eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end'

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATLANTA - President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for gun rights Friday, telling attendees of a National Rifle Association convention that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.” Trump, the first sitting president to address the group’s annual convention in more than 30 years, assured the audience that he would defend their right to bear arms in a campaign-like speech reminiscent of his election rallies. Source
  • U.S. seeks tough North Korea action, but China shows no inclination

    World News Toronto Sun
    Turning to diplomacy after flexing military muscle, the United States will urge the U.N. Security Council on Friday to increase economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, leaning on China in particular to turn the screws on its wayward ally. Source