Five people were killed and dozens more were injured after severe storms that included three tornadoes hit a region of Texas east of Dallas, officials said.
Three tornadoes touched down in Eustace, Caney City and Canton Saturday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service said.
Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett said five people were killed — one in the town and four others in Van Zandt County. Power was also knocked out and the full scope of the damage is not yet known, she said in a phone interview Saturday night.
“We won’t know what exactly we are dealing with until the sun comes up,” Everett said. “We have no power. We have three major transmission stations that are damaged.”
East Texas Medical Center previously reported that 52 people were being treated at three hospitals due to the severe weather, and one of those patients was in critical condition.
Video taken from the scene showed tornadoes touching down and thunder. Dozens of cars were overturned on Interstate 20, east of Canton, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported. The tornadoes hit in Henderson and Van Zandt counties, according to the weather service.
Desirae Rasmussen of Canton survived the tornado, but her home was seriously damaged. “Every last one of us walked away. But we have nothing left down there,” Rasmussen told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
“We were all sitting in the hallway and the roof collapsed on us. By the time it was all over, we went outside. We had a three level house, and we’re down to the last level and half of that roof is gone,” she said.
The tornadoes in Texas occurred as storms swept across the parts of the South and Midwest on Saturday, with flash flood warnings in place for a swath stretching from eastern Oklahoma to western Kentucky and parts of Illinois.
In Missouri Saturday, a woman drowned after the car she was in was swept away by floodwaters in Clever, a town about 20 miles southwest of Springfield, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. 72-year-old Madelaine Krueger’s husband tried to rescue her before the vehicle was swept away but was unsuccessful, the highway patrol said.
“We’re having major flooding like I’ve never seen since I’ve been here in town,” said Neosho, Missouri, Mayor Ben Baker said. Vehicles in the town of 12,000 south of Joplin were pushed by floodwaters into trees and homes after creeks spilled over their banks.
In Arkansas, a person was killed after a tree fell onto a mobile home in Dewitt, Arkansas County Emergency Management spokesperson Whitney Green said.
On the other side of the state in Fayetteville, authorities said they conducted 20 water rescues Saturday after flooding there.
Oklahoma declared a state of emergency on Saturday. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s office said there was widespread flooding in Cherokee County, where there were 14 water rescues Saturday, and flooding in Adair County. Baseball-sized hail fell west of the town of Cameron, damaging power lines.
More than 12,000 customers in central Oklahoma were without electricity as of Saturday evening, utility OGE Energy Corp. said.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency for his state on Friday, NBC affiliate KSDK reported. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said a task force was being sent to help communities affected by the tornadoes and severe weather.