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

  • Timeline of events leading up to Brexit

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Here is a timeline of key events related to Britain's decision to leave the European Union: Jan. 23, 2013: British Prime Minister David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain's membership to the EU if the Conservative party is elected in the next general election. Source
  • Latest on Brexit: U.K. must be left worse off after split, EU presidency says

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - The Latest on Brexit (all times local): 11:05 a.m. The European Union presidency says it is "imperative" that Britain must be left with a worse option than membership once Brexit negotiations are over. Source
  • Turkey wants to talk extradition of cleric living in U.S. with Rex Tillerson

    World News CBC News
    Turkey will discuss Syria and the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed for a failed coup last July, with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visits Ankara this week, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday. Source
  • Purolator back to business as usual, as agreement reached with union

    Canada News CBC News
    Purolator will be accepting packages again Wednesday after the company has reached a tentative agreement overnight with its largest union, averting a strike.Purolator stops accepting new parcelsThe agreement must still be ratified by Teamsters Canada, the union representing more than 8,000 members who work at Purolator. Source
  • Raqqa residents trapped by militants ahead of assault

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- As U.S.-backed forces bear down on the de facto capital of the Islamic State group, the militants have taken their strategy of hiding behind civilians further than ever before, effectively using the entire population of Raqqa as human shields. Source
  • 'How dare you say these hateful things?' Woman takes on Islamophobia at school board meeting

    Canada News CBC News
    A Toronto area woman who confronted a group of people shouting Islamophobic comments at a Peel District School Board meeting told CBC News that the energy in the room that night was "explosive" and "sick." Christina Dixon, who grew up in the Peel Region and has a child who goes to school in the district, can be seen in videos of last Wednesday's meeting standing and shouting "Shame on you!" at a man who is ripping pages out of a Qur'an. Source
  • Trudeau government's vacant appointments backlog up 80%

    Canada News CBC News
    Five months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government assured Canadians that its new system would soon fix the backlog of appointments that need to be filled, the problem has gotten much worse. An analysis by CBC News reveals that one in three governor in council positions — ranging from directors of government agencies to members of tribunals that hear appeals of employment insurance or pension disputes — is currently vacant or occupied by an appointee whose term is past its expiry…
  • Byelection performance can be predictive of future results

    Canada News CBC News
    After the votes are counted in Monday's five federal byelections, only the parties that make gains will want to talk about the results. The others will point out that byelections are local affairs that tell us nothing about broader national trends; that they don't really matter. Source
  • 'I feel duped': Why bank employees with impressive but misleading titles could cost you big time

    Canada News CBC News
    Mike Black says he feels "completely betrayed" after trusting RBC employees with impressive-sounding titles to manage his life savings, only to earn far below the market average for six years. "I worked 35 years at two jobs and saved up a considerable amount due to the fact that I didn't have a pension and would need money for retirement," said Black, who managed to put away nearly $1 million. Source
  • Deadline for women to opt out of RCMP sex harassment settlement is today

    Canada News CBC News
    Today is the deadline for female Mounties to decide if they want to opt out of a historic sexual harassment class action lawsuit. Any woman who has worked as a civilian or regular member of the RCMP is eligible to file a claim under the negotiated settlement to compensate for on-the-job harassment and abuse. Source