27 dead after tornadoes hit South, Midwest

A surge of storms fueled confirmed or suspected tornadoes in at least eight states, leaving a death toll of 27 and many homes and buildings destroyed. The storms hit Tennessee the hardest, with at least nine fatalities in McNairy County, 100 miles east of Memphis, and two children and an adult dying in Memphis when a tree fell on a house. Four deaths were reported in Wynne, Arkansas, and three in Sullivan, Indiana. Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and Delaware also reported deaths. Almost 400,000 homes and businesses were without power across 12 states, and a state of emergency was declared in Arkansas. Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding were possible across parts of the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. President Joe Biden declared parts of the country major disaster areas because of the storms, and federal resources, including financial assistance, were provided. The storms also caused a roof collapse at a theater in Belvidere, Illinois, killing one man and injuring more than 40 others. In Tipton County, just north of Memphis, one person died and 28 were injured, and Crestview Elementary suffered catastrophic damage, forcing it and the middle school to close for the rest of the school year. The storms hit McNairy County on Friday night, taking almost exactly the same path and causing damage to 35% to 40% of the county. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee toured the destruction and comforted residents, calling it a "tragic, tragic loss for this community, this county, the state." FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will tour Little Rock and Wynne on Sunday.


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