The death count for tornadoes over the weekend went from an estimated 18 to a confirmed 32 when a storm passed through southern and midwestern regions of the U.S.
Storms previously reported by the Deseret News spawned several tornadoes, causing casualties in possibly 11 different states, according to AP News.
Multiple news outlets have reported on the casualties of the tornadoes.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders had already declared a state of emergency and alerted the National Guard before the National Weather Service classified a tornado in Arkansas as “an EF3 with winds of up to 165 mph, 30 miles long and 1.3 miles wide,” USA Today said.
AP News said at least five people in Arkansas were killed, along with nine others in a Tennessee county, five in Indiana and four in Illinios.
The Apollo Theatre, a concert venue in Belvidere, Illinois, was hosting 260 people for a heavy metal concert when the roof collapsed. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said 48 attendees were hospitalized. Frederick Livingston Jr. did not survive, his son Alex telling WSL-TV “I couldn’t save him,” per AP News.
Reuters said six states reported 15 deaths total from the storm and tornadoes.
Three Tipton County schools about 30 miles from Memphis are closed Monday because of damaged property or power outages, according to CNN.
Jennifer Hobbs, mayor of Wynne, Arkansas, told CNN that the tornado destroyed homes and killed at least four people, leaving the county in need of “resources beyond their means” to recover from damage.
USA Today said the weather service office in Little Rock, Arkansas, predicted severe weather in the near future. “A strong storm system will approach the area from the west, and thunderstorms are expected to develop Tuesday through Wednesday morning.”
President Joe Biden released a statement on the natural disasters that took place, giving comforting words and outlining a series of actions he will take to help those affected.
“I’ve directed my team to bring every element of the federal government together to help with immediate needs and long-term rebuilding,” he said.
Sunday morning, Biden issued an expedited major disaster declaration for those affected in hard-hit Arkansas to receive federal assistance sooner.
Biden has also reached out to several government officials in the affected areas, letting them know “that my administration will do everything we can to help, as long as it takes,” per the statement.