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At least 18 dead in the aftermath of tornadoes in the South and Midwest

On Friday night, severe storms ravaged through several Midwestern and Southern states, destroying homes and leaving thousands without power

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Damage from a late-night tornado is seen in Sullivan, Indiana.

Damage from a late-night tornado is seen in Sullivan, Ind., Saturday, April 1, 2023. Multiple deaths were reported in the area following the storm. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

Associated Press

Dozens of tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest on Friday night and early Saturday morning, leaving an estimated 18 people dead and several injured, according to The Associated Press.

The news: There were at least 50 preliminary tornado reports recorded on Friday in at least seven states: Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to CNN.

  • Millions were under a tornado watch this weekend, and the storms caused destruction throughout several states, even collapsing a roof at a packed concert venue in Illinois, per The New York Times.

Details: According to USA Today, the storms left over 350,000 households without power on Saturday, and many homes and structures were left destroyed in several different states.

  • In Tennessee, five freight trains were overturned, and wind speeds of up to 54 mph fanned the flames of wildfires, leading to even more evacuations in Oklahoma, per USA Today.
  • NPR reported that cars were flipped, power lines were blown over and areas in Arkansas even saw golf-ball-sized hail.
  • In Belvidere, Illinois, one person died and 28 were left injured after the roof of the Apollo Theater caved in on 260 concert attendees, per NPR.

Aftermath: “The damage and loss that our community suffered last night was catastrophic,” the Adamsville, Tennessee Police Department said in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

  • “Our hearts are indeed heavy by the loss and damages to the to the City of Little Rock caused by today’s storm. In the aftermath, we know the recovery process will be long,” said the Little Rock, Arkansas, Police Department in a press release.
  • The Associated Press states that recovery is already underway in some cities, with residents and volunteer groups getting to work to clear debris.
  • A school in Wynne, Arkansas, has been converted into a center for people who are seeking shelter and food, according to the NYT.
  • “As dawn breaks we start the long process of recovery and rebuilding,” said Frank Scott, the mayor of Little Rock, on Twitter. “Little Rock is resilient & we will rebound stronger.”