26 dead in violent US storms
A string of storms that ripped through the South and the Midwest left at least 26 people dead over the weekend, with tornadoes believed to have hit at least eight states.
The confirmed or suspected tornadoes left devastation in their paths. The highest number of reported deaths, nine, came from one Tennessee county, with four more deaths in a small town in Arkansas, four across Illinois and three in one Indiana town. Other deaths were reported in Alabama and Mississippi.
High winds caused the roof of a concert venue in Belvidere, Illinois, to collapse, leaving one person dead and dozens injured.
There were more than 60 tornadoes reported in the U.S. on Friday alone as the storms made their way through the middle of the country. The damage reached as far east as Delaware, where a suspected tornado in the southern part of the state on Saturday caused a house to collapse, killing one person.
In the days before the storm, the National Weather Service offered its highest alert level for storms throughout the South.
Another possible severe weather event could affect roughly the same area later this week. The National Weather Service has already issued enhanced warnings of severe thunderstorms across parts of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas — a population coverage of over 18 million people.
Last week, a tornado hit Mississippi, killing 25 people and prompting a federal emergency disaster declaration to aid in the recovery efforts. President Biden toured the area over the weekend.
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