At least seven people are reported dead after a storm system of epic proportions ripped through the South and Midwest on Friday, unleashing deadly weather, including tornadoes that shredded homes and shopping centers in Arkansas, collapsed a theater roof during a heavy metal concert in Illinois, and caused fatal destruction in rural Indiana.

The storm caused three deaths in Sullivan County, Indiana, and damaged homes, while some residents were missing in the county seat of Sullivan. The town of Wynne in northeastern Arkansas was devastated, with two dead reported, homes destroyed, and people trapped in the debris.

At least one person was killed, and more than two dozen were injured, some critically, in the Little Rock area. The storm also spawned twisters in Iowa and wind-whipped grass fires in Oklahoma, threatening a broad swath of the country home to some 85 million people.

Belvidere, Illinois was not left out of the destructive path of the storm, as the roof of the Apollo Theatre collapsed during a heavy metal concert, killing one person and injuring 28, five of them severely. The Belvidere Police Department said that an initial assessment was that a tornado had caused the damage.

The storm hit as President Joe Biden toured the aftermath of a deadly tornado that struck in Mississippi one week ago and promised the government would help the area recover. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders activated 100 members of the Arkansas National Guard to assist local authorities in responding to the damage throughout the state.

The Little Rock tornado first tore through neighborhoods in the western part of the city, shredding a small shopping center that included a Kroger grocery store. It then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and surrounding cities, where widespread damage was reported to homes, businesses, and vehicles. In the evening, officials in Pulaski County announced a confirmed fatality in North Little Rock but did not immediately give details.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock officials told KATV in the afternoon that 21 people had checked in there with tornado-caused injuries, including five in critical condition. Mayor Frank Scott Jr., who announced that he was requesting assistance from the National Guard, tweeted in the evening that property damage was extensive, and “we are still responding.”

At Clinton National Airport, passengers and workers sheltered temporarily in bathrooms. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who declared a state of emergency, said on Twitter, “Praying for all those who were and remain in the path of this storm.”

About 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Memphis, Tennessee, the small city of Wynne, Arkansas, saw widespread tornado damage, with two deaths reported in the tornado. City Councilmember Lisa Powell Carter told AP that the town Wynne was without power, and roads were full of debris.

The unrelenting tornadoes continued spawning and touching down in the area into the night. The police department in Covington, Tennessee, said on Facebook that the west Tennessee city was impassable after power lines and trees fell on roads when the storm passed through Friday evening.

Overall, the storm left a trail of death and destruction, and emergency services are working hard to provide assistance to those affected. We offer our thoughts and condolences to those affected by this disaster and hope for the quick recovery of the communities impacted.

Verified from the Source.

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