At least seven dead as twisters ravage Southern and Midwest states of US

Jen Offord
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Texas, Missouri and Arkansas were hit badly by storms over the weekend that claimed the lives of "at least" seven people according to reports. Severe flooding and tornadoes also injured dozens more.

Five of the deaths were reported in Van Zandt County, Texas, some 65 miles east of Dallas. Meanwhile, a 72-year-old died after flood waters washed her car away in Missouri, and another woman died after a tree fell on her mobile home in Arkansas.

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The tornadoes in Texas were tracked approximately by the National Weather Service from Rains County, through Canton – which sustained considerable damage – Eustace and Caney City. A car dealership near Interstate 20, just north of Canton, was damaged after vehicles were thrown into the air.

In the worst affected area of Texas, county officials believed the death toll could rise as search and rescue operations continued and damage is fully surveyed on Sunday. CNN also reported 55 patients were taken to a local hospital.

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The storm follows further deaths in the state last month during extreme weather. Three storm chasers died instantly after crashing while following a tornado in March.

In Missouri, severe rainfall on Friday caused rising flood waters and left more than 150 roads closed. Ninety-three evacuations were made of residents in affected areas. According to the National Weather Service somewhere between four and six inches of rain fell in Missouri and Texas, with nine inches in the worst-hit areas.

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Further tornado warnings were in place across parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi on Sunday, including close to the Natchez Trace Parkway. Parts of the parkway sustained massive damage as a result of a tornado in 2011, which killed a camper on the parkway.

Texas also experienced extreme storms around the same time last year and the year before in 2015, when flash floods hit the state.

Six people were killed in floods 100 miles from Dallas, in the city of Palestine, in April last year, while a state of disaster was called in 40 Texas counties in May 2015 thanks to major storms hitting the area.

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