Disaster struck in isolated village, killing 24 people including nine children, after they’d been warned to evacuate.
At least 14 people have been killed by tornadoes or floods as a severe storm slammed the southern and midwestern United States over the weekend.
Tornadoes hit several small towns in eastern Texas, killing four people. Flooding and winds killed five people in Arkansas, including a fire chief who was struck by a vehicle while working during the storm.
Two deaths were reported in Missouri, including a woman who drowned after rushing water swept away a car. Two people died in Mississippi including a seven-year-old who died by electric shock. In Tennessee, a two-year-old girl died after being struck by a football goal post thrown by heavy winds.
Dozens more were injured, according to US officials.
A chance remained for more severe weather in the south. Parts of Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi could be affected by severe thunderstorms, according to National Weather Service.
The first reports of tornadoes came on Saturday afternoon, but emergency crews were hampered by continuing severe weather, said Judge Don Kirkpatrick, chief executive for Van Zandt County.
“We’d be out there working and get a report of another tornado on the ground,” he said.
Flooding closed part of Interstate 44 near Hazelgreen, Missouri, and officials expected it would be at least a day before the highway reopened.
Interstate 70 in western Kansas was closed because crews were waiting for snow falling at 8 to 10cm an hour being blown by 56kph winds to subside.
The National Weather Service found evidence of four tornadoes with one twister possibly on the ground for 80km.