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Tornados Hit Arkansas, Iowa; Multiple States Under Tornado Watch



Tornados have torn through cities in central Arkansas, as well as parts of eastern Iowa, injuring dozens of people and causing widespread power outages and damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has also issued a tornado watch for multiple U.S. states in the South and Midwest.

“A severe weather outbreak appears increasingly likely, centered on this afternoon and evening,” it said earlier Friday. “At least a few long-track, strong to potentially violent tornadoes are probable, particularly over portions of the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the Mid-South.”

“A major severe weather outbreak is expected today from the Midwest to the Mid-South,” the SPC also stated earlier. “The greatest risk for strong, long-track (potentially violent) tornadoes exists across [southeast Iowa], western [Illinois] & far northeast [Missouri] as well as portions of eastern [Arkansas], northern [Mississippi], & southwest [Tennessee].”

‘Particularly Dangerous Situation’

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch until 1 a.m. for northeast Mississippi, parts of western/middle Tennessee, and far northwest Alabama, calling it a “particularly dangerous situation.” It said that “several tornadoes (some intense) as well of scattered large hail and damaging winds are all expected.”

Meteorologists urged people to brace for severe weather that involves thunderstorms that may bring hail, damaging winds, and strong tornadoes.

The latest weather mayhem comes after deadly tornadoes hit Mississippi and Alabama last week.

In Arkansas on Friday, a tornado that hit Little Rock caused at least two dozen people to be hospitalized, although there are no known fatalities as of late Friday, according to the city’s mayor, Frank Scott Jr. “Property damage is extensive and we are still responding,” he also said on Twitter in the evening.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency and said there was “significant damage” in the central part of the state.

“Praying for all those who were and remain in the path of this storm,” she wrote on Twitter. “Arkansans must continue to stay weather aware as storms are continuing to move through.”

Another tornado hit the town of Wynne in the eastern part of Arkansas, near the Tennessee border, and officials reported widespread damage there including destroyed homes and downed trees. Police Chief Richard Dennis told WHBQ-TV that Wynne suffered “total destruction” from the tornado, and multiple people were trapped.

Poweroutage.us, which tracks outages, recorded nearly 70,000 customers in Arkansas who have lost power.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Oklahoma, more than 32,000 have lost power, amid high-velocity winds up to 60 mph that have fueled grass fires. People were advised to evacuate homes in far northeast Oklahoma City.

More outages were also reported in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.

In Illinois, large hail was reported as having broken windows on cars and buildings in the area of Roanoke.

Multiple tornadoes were separately reported through parts of eastern Iowa, damaging homes and other property.

By 7 p.m., the National Weather Service stated that “no more severe weather” was forecasted in central Iowa, but residents might still see strong gusty winds, while those in northern Iowa might experience some snow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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