Powerful tornadoes tore through small towns in south-central United States, leaving at least 18 people. Tornadoes struck the region on Sunday evening, flipping cars, ripping up homes and uprooting trees, emergency officials said.
One of the towns hardest hit by the storms, Vilonia, Arkansas, intensified its search for survivors Monday, after the arrival of daylight allowed a good look at the storm damage.Vilonia’s police chief, Brad McNew, told US television that tornado damage had rendered his town unrecognizable.
Rescuers in the town had worked through the night using searchlights in blacked-out areas as they sifted through mountains of rubble searching for survivors. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said 15 people were killed when tornadoes touched down on Sunday, while an official with the Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency said there were at least two tornado victims in the state.
More big twisters were expected as violent thunder and hail storms move through a large swath of the southern United States, from Texas to Tennessee, forecasters said.