(Adds flood warnings around Chicago; disaster declaration in
By Carey Gillam
KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 11 One person was killed
and five others hurt as severe weather, that included a tornado,
swept through Mississippi on Thursday knocking out power and
damaging buildings, emergency officials said.
The tornado was part of a storm system that has been
crawling eastward over the last few days producing twisters and
damaging winds in Arkansas and Missouri; hail and high winds in
Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas; heavy snow in Colorado, South Dakota
and Minnesota; and flood warnings in Illinois and Indiana.
Five Mississippi counties reported damage to several homes
and a fire station, and downed trees and power lines. About
4,000 electrical customers had power knocked out by the storms
on Thursday, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management
The death and five injuries occurred in Kemper County,
according to Greg Flynn, spokesman for MEMA. He said that two of
those injured had to be hospitalized, but did not have
A tornado destroyed mobile homes, uprooted trees and
overturned an 18-wheel tractor trailer in Mississippi's Noxubee
County, according to a Noxubee County Sheriff's Department
In neighboring Arkansas, Governor Mike Beebe declared 15
counties disaster areas due to damage from severe storms and
tornadoes on Wednesday afternoon and evening.
To the north, in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon declared a
state of emergency in the St. Louis area where about 25 homes in
the suburb of Hazelwood sustained damage from high winds and
Winds of 40 to 70 miles per hour (65-115 kph) were noted
through the area, with a gust of 101 miles per hour (163 kph)
clocked southwest of St. Louis, according to the National
While the worst of the damage was noted in Missouri and
Arkansas, severe weather, including hail and high winds, was
reported from northeast Texas through Pennsylvania and into New
York, said Bill Bunting, a meteorologist with the National
Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
In Arkansas, at least four people were taken to the hospital
with injuries attributed to the severe weather on Wednesday
after a twister tore through a church near the town of Clinton,
damaging several buildings and uprooting trees, officials said.
The tornado was an EF-2, with wind speeds of up to 135 miles
per hour, according to the National Weather Service. The
tornado, which traveled a 17-mile path and was 400 yards wide,
destroyed five houses, it said.
In the suburbs of Chicago and in parts of Indiana, several
areas near rivers were under flood warnings due to heavy rains
over the last 48 hours, according to the National Weather
Eight homes and a church were destroyed in the north-central
part of Arkansas, officials said, and electricity was knocked
out to some 4,000 customers.
Severe thunderstorms were possible for Thursday into Friday
for the central and eastern Gulf states into the Carolinas and
parts of southern Virginia, according to the Storm Prediction
(Additional reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mary
Wisniewski in Chicago, David Bailey in Minneapolis, Suzi Parker
in Little Rock, Arkansas and Emily Le Coz in Jackson,
Mississippi; Editing by Scott Malone, Bob Burgdorfer, Alden
Bentley and Cynthia Johnston)