7 hurt in Arkansas tornado as storms move into Deep South

Severe_Weather_26953 Crews clean up the grounds at George Elementary School Wednesday, March 30, 2022 in Springdale, Ark. Severe storms that included at least two tornadoes injured several people, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Arkansas and Missouri overnight as twisters and hurricane-force winds were forecast in much of the Deep South on Wednesday.
Severe_Weather_08716 Debris litters a neighborhood one block west of Powell Street near Don Tyson Parkway Wednesday, March 30, 2022 in Springdale, Ark. Severe storms that included at least two tornadoes injured several people, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Arkansas and Missouri overnight as twisters and hurricane-force winds were forecast in much of the Deep South on Wednesday.
Severe_Weather_05054 Workers begin cleanup at the George Elementary School gym Wednesday, March 30, 2022 in Springdale, Ark. Severe storms that included at least two tornadoes injured several people, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Arkansas and Missouri overnight as twisters and hurricane-force winds were forecast in much of the Deep South on Wednesday.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_11320 Strong winds downed this tree on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion in Jackson, during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_70078 City and state workers race to clear the debris from this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_26956 City and state workers race to clear the debris from this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_13135 A state grounds engineer uses a mini skid steer to remove some of the limbs and trunk from this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_67442 A state grounds engineer uses a mini skid steer to remove some of the limbs and trunk from this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_21092 Limbs from this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, await removal during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_82304 The trunk of this downed tree that was felled by strong winds on the grounds of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion onto a main intersection of downtown Jackson, awaits removal during an outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. A section of the security fence and the decorative brick wall was damaged by the tree.
APTOPIX_Severe_Weather_Mississippi_85789 The Mississippi Department of Transportation digital message board warns drivers along I-55 southbound in Jackson of a tornado warning during a rainstorm during the outbreak of severe weather in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_95148 Lydia Macklin surveys the damage to her late husband's truck from a tree blown down during an outbreak of severe weather in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 30, 2022. "I went to the hallway and prayed during the storm," she said.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_55828 Lydia Macklin surveys the damage to her late husband's truck from a tree blown down during an outbreak of severe weather in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 30, 2022. "I went to the hallway and prayed during the storm," she said.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_87448 Rander Adams surveys the tree damage to a neighbor's house from a tree blown down during an outbreak of severe weather in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Adams, who lives in the neighborhood, recalled watching a picture window in their home shatter from the storm.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_25992 A storm-toppled tree rests on the roof of a gazebo at Battlefield Park in Jackson, Miss., following a severe weather outbreak in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. About a dozen trees were felled by the storm in the park.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_61155 An area resident sweeps up tennis lines blown off the courts at the Battlefield Tennis Center in Jackson, Miss., by the strong winds from a severe weather outbreak in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_45616 A tree toppled by the storm and power lines block this downtown Jackson, Miss., street, one of many situations seen throughout central Mississippi following a severe weather outbreak in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_41579 A tree toppled by the storm rests on the roof of a gazebo at Battlefield Park in Jackson, Miss., following a severe weather outbreak in the state, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. About a dozen trees were felled by the storm in the park.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_57291 A house on Summer Street, just north of Winter Street, in Jackson, Miss., was heavily damaged by a downed tree during severe weather that moved through the city Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Severe_Weather_Mississippi_74163 Chassidy Webb wipes the pouring rain from her face while surveying the damage in the backyard of her home in the 800 block of Winter Street in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Downed trees and power lines filled the area and blocked the street after severe weather moved through the city.
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Severe storms that included at least two confirmed tornadoes injured several people Wednesday, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Mississippi and Tennessee after they spread damage in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas overnight before moving to the Deep South.

No deaths had been reported from the storms as of Wednesday evening, officials said.

About 185,000 customers were without electricity Thursday morning in the wake of the storm along a band of states: Mississippi and Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio and Michigan, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utilities.

But widespread damage was reported in the Jackson, Tennessee, area as a tornado warning was in effect. “Significant damage” occurred to a nursing home near Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Jackson, said Madison County Emergency Management Director Jason Moore.

In Nashville, Tennessee, paneling fell five stories from the side of a downtown hotel Wednesday evening and onto a roof of a building below. The fire department warned the debris could become airborne as high winds continued, and some hotel guests were moved to other parts of the building due to concerns that the roof would become unstable. No injuries were immediately associated with the collapse.

A warehouse roof collapsed as the storms moved through Southaven, Mississippi, near Memphis, police said. The building had been evacuated and no injuries were reported.

The Mississippi Senate suspended its work as weather sirens blared during a tornado watch in downtown Jackson. Some employees took shelter in the Capitol basement.

Rander P. Adams said his and his wife, Janice Delores Adams, were in their home near downtown Jackson when severe weather blew through during a tornado warning Wednesday afternoon. He said their lights flashed and they heard a loud whistling noise.

As his wife tried to open their front door, a large window exploded a few feet from her.

“The glass broke just as if someone threw a brick through it,” he said. “I advised her then, ‘Let’s go to the back of the house.’”

Adams said the storm toppled trees in a nearby park, and a large tree across the street from their house split in half. “We were blessed,” he said. “Instead of falling toward the house, it fell the other way.”

Earlier Wednesday, a tornado that struck Springdale, Arkansas, and the adjoining town of Johnson, about 145 miles (235 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, about 4 a.m. injured seven people, two critically, said Washington County, Arkansas, Emergency Management Director John Luther. He had no additional information about them.

The National Weather Service said that tornado would be rated “at least EF-2,” which would mean wind speeds reached 111-135 mph (178-217 kph).

“Search and rescue teams have been deployed, as there are significant damages and injuries,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

In northwest Missouri, an EF-1 tornado with wind speeds around 90 mph (145 kph) struck St. Joseph on Tuesday night, according to the weather service. That tornado damaged two homes, but no injuries were reported there. Another EF-1 tornado with wind speeds around 100 mph (160 kph) touched down briefly before dawn Wednesday in a rural subdivision 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Dallas, damaging two roofs, the weather service reported.

The storms come a week after a tornado in a New Orleans-area neighborhood carved a path of destruction during the overnight hours and killed a man.

Damage was extensive in Springdale, including to an elementary school gymnasium and a warehouse, KFSM-TV reported. The Springdale School District, which is the largest in Arkansas, canceled all classes Wednesday.

“We have some commercial buildings and residences and everything in between … with severe storm damage,” Luther said.

Strong winds in Louisiana overturned semitrailers, peeled the roof from a mobile home, sent a tree crashing into a home and knocked down power lines, according to weather service forecasters, who didn’t immediately confirm any tornadoes in the state.

Schools in Memphis and dozens in Mississippi had closed early or switched to online instruction as a precaution against crowding children into buildings or buses. Shelters were opened in Mississippi, and in Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advised people living in trailers after Hurricane Ida to be ready to evacuate.

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This story corrects that significant damage occurred to a nursing home near a hospital, not to the hospital.

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Wagner Pettus reported from in Jackson, Mississippi, and Mattise from Nashville, Tennessee; many other Associated Press journalists contributed.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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