Tornado in Arkansas: two dead after a retirement home “rather destroyed” | Tornadoes
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At least two people were killed when a tornado swept through an Arkansas nursing home, while a roof collapsed in an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, causing many injuries.
Craighead County Judge Marvin Day said the tornado struck Monette Manor nursing home in northeast Arkansas at around 8:15 p.m., trapping 20 people inside as the building was collapsing. About 90 minutes later, the building had been cleared and everyone suspected of having been inside had been found, but Day said crews still had to search the debris for possible additional casualties.
“Looks like it’s pretty much destroyed,” Day said of the building. “It happens quickly but apparently there was a bit of time with the tornado sirens going off.” Some residents were found in the basement “and were prepared for it,” he said.
Five people were seriously injured and a few others were slightly injured, he said. The retirement home has 86 beds.
Meanwhile, footage from St. Louis TV stations showed dozens of emergency vehicles at the Amazon hub near Edwardsville, Ill., About 40 miles west of St. Louis. It was not immediately clear whether or how many people were injured by the roof collapse, but local emergency services called it a “mass incident” on Facebook. An official told KTVI-TV that up to 100 people were in the building, working nights, at the time of the collapse.
The collapse occurred in the form of a severe thunderstorm, and possibly a tornado, which ravaged the St Louis area. Winds of up to 70 mph have been reported in parts of St Charles and St Louis counties in Missouri. At least three residents of St Charles County have been hospitalized and several homes in the area near Augusta, Missouri have been damaged.
It was not immediately clear whether the damage to the Amazon warehouse was caused by straight line storms or a tornado, but a large tornado was reported in the Edwardsville area around the time that the building was damaged. The National Weather Service office near St. Louis has issued reports of “radar confirmed tornadoes” in the Edwardsville area.
In fact, the weather services office workers themselves had to take cover as another tornado passed near their office in Weldon Spring, Missouri, about 30 miles west of St. Louis. The tornado was believed to have destroyed several homes in the Missouri towns of New Melle and Defiance, leaving at least three people injured, one of whom was hospitalized with serious injuries. Rescue teams worked through the night to sift through the damage to make sure there were no additional injuries.
“The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority at this time,” said Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha. “We are assessing the situation and will share additional information when it becomes available.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter that Illinois State Police and disaster officials are coordinating with local officials in Edwardsville and monitoring the situation.
Storms in Illinois and Arkansas were among several locations in the Midwest that reported spotted or ground tornadoes.
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