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At least 18 dead across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas in severe storms

Severe storms over the weekend resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, according to The Associated Press and Arkansas state officials .

At least 25 tornadoes were reported in five states, according to authorities.

Texas was hit hard

Seven people died in Texas and more than 100 were injured as severe weather swept through the state, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Sunday evening.

Abbott said 106 Texas counties were under disaster declaration.

More than 200 homes or structures were destroyed and another 120 were damaged, Texas officials said.

Video shows Cooke County residents hiding at a Shell gas station as a tornado hit the area Saturday night, according to Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate WFAA. The tornado begins to destroy the building and residents rush to safety.

No one inside the gas station was killed, according to WFAA.

Abbott mourned those killed in the storms, saying, “There is only one thing that cannot be rebuilt, and that is the loss of life.” That’s why we always stress to everyone, whatever you do in any type of storm, put life first. “.

A 2-year-old and a 5-year-old from the same family were killed in Cooke County, Texas, officials said. The children were among seven people who were killed in the area, located north of Dallas, the Cooke County Sheriff’s Office told the AP on Sunday.

The tornado that struck Cooke County was provisionally classified as an EF-2 with winds up to 135 mph.

The storm ravaged a roadside travel center near Valley View, Texas, before continuing through a manufactured home community, according to Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington.

More than 60 people were injured, he told WFAA.

Most of those deaths occurred at neighboring FRF Estates in Valley View, a manufactured home community located about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, according to Sappington.

He said emergency response teams were scouring the development for survivors on Sunday morning amid “major damage”.

Sappington said another hard-hit area was the Gateway AP Travel Center in Valley View, where many people left the road to seek shelter in the parking lot or truck stop restrooms. Sappington said 60 to 80 people were injured at the facility.

“The storm caused significant damage to many homes and businesses, including the Gateway AP Travel Center, which sustained significant damage,” the Cooke County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Sunday morning. “Emergency services are actively searching the rubble for missing people, and many injuries to varying degrees have been reported.”

Sappington warned people to stay away from storm-damaged areas while emergency crews searched for survivors and cleared roads of debris.

“It would really help if people would stay away now and give us a few hours to complete our search and rescue,” Sappington said. “I know some people were out of the area and trying to get back, but it’s dangerous out there. Power lines are down. Gas leaks have been reported. It’s just dangerous right now. Give- just a little time to do what we need to do.” We are always trying to save people. The best thing people can do right now is give us some time.

Meanwhile, a landslide closed both directions of Highway 340 in Bella Vista, Texas, according to the Bella Vista Police Department. The highway was closed after soil beneath the roadway was washed away by heavy rain and “compromised the road surface,” police said.

2 dead in Arkansas, officials say

Arkansas officials said at least two people were killed when a possible tornado struck early Sunday morning. One person was found dead in Benton County, in the northwest part of the state, and a 26-year-old woman was found dead outside a destroyed home in Olvey, Boone County, officials said.

In addition to the two deaths, several people were injured in Benton County, Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said at a news conference.

At least one possible tornado tore through the town of Decatur in Benton County and two others appeared to touch down near Beaver Lake, Moehring said.

Many trees and power lines were toppled in the storm and powerful straight-line winds also caused significant damage in Bentonville, where part of the courthouse was destroyed, Moehring said.

He said emergency crews were responding to reports of people trapped in the rubble.

Police in Rogers, Arkansas, also in Benton County, posted photos on Facebook Sunday showing widespread damage in downtown Rogers. The Rogers Police Department said emergency crews were searching for survivors and assessing the damage.

“All of our main streets have trees or are closed, and we continue to respond and try to respond to calls. Too many cars on the streets hinder our response,” the Rogers Police Department said in a Facebook post asking people not to go around the barricades. .

2 deaths in Oklahoma

At least two people were killed when a possible tornado struck Pryor, Oklahoma, about 45 miles east of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told KTUL affiliate at Tulsa ABC.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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