Unrelenting tornadoes that tore through parts of the South and Midwest of the US killed at least 11 people, collapsed the roof of a packed theatre during a heavy metal concert in Illinois, and left small towns and big cities throughout the region bewildered on Saturday by the damage.
The dead included four in the small town of Wynne, Arkansas, Cross County Coroner Eli Long told KAIT-TV. Other deaths were reported in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and the Little Rock area.
Wynne City Council member Lisa Powell Carter said the town about 80km west of Memphis, Tennessee, was without power and roads were full of debris.
“I’m in a panic trying to get home, but we can’t get home,” she said on Friday night.
“Wynne is so demolished.”
In Belvidere, Illinois, a tornado collapsed the roof of the Apollo Theatre as 260 people attended a heavy metal concert, killing one person and injuring 28, five of them severely, officials said.
The storms also killed three people in Sullivan County, Indiana, emergency management director Jim Pirtle said in an email.
In the Little Rock area, at least one person was killed and more than two dozen were hurt, some critically, authorities said.
A suspected tornado killed a woman in northern Alabama’s Madison County as it destroyed several buildings, said county official Mac McCutcheon.
In northern Mississippi’s Pontotoc County, the state emergency management agency confirmed one death and four injuries.