Storm death toll rises to 32 as US braces for more fierce weather

AFP , Monday 3 Apr 2023

The death toll from weekend storms that raked across parts of the US South and Midwest has risen by three to 32, according to official counts, with more extreme weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday.

US tornadoes
People walk beside piles of debris, Sunday, April 2, 2023, in the Indian Hills area of North Little Rock, Ark. Residents across a wide swath of the US raced to assess the destruction from fierce storms that spawned possibly dozens of tornadoes from the South and the Midwest into the Northeast, killing at least 32 people. AP


Tennessee, one of the hardest-hit states since the storms unleashed tornadoes, fierce winds and flooding beginning Friday, earlier reported 12 weather-related fatalities Sunday and later raised that figure to 15.

Scenes of devastation were left in the path of the Tennessee tornado, which uprooted trees, flattened homes into piles of wooden boards and flipped vehicles.

The toll in Tennessee came on top of the 17 deaths reported in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama in the US South, Indiana and Illinois in the Midwest, and the mid-Atlantic state of Delaware.

The storm system left dozens injured.

But just as residents begin picking up the pieces, meteorologists and officials warned communities Monday to be on high alert for new bands of thunderstorms and potential tornadoes in the region, with several million Americans under high wind watches or warnings.

"An additional round of severe weather is expected for Tuesday, April 4," the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said on its website.

Blizzard conditions are expected in northern plains states including the Dakotas, and in the Rocky Mountains where the National Weather Service forecast one to three feet (30 to 90 centimeters) of snow in parts of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

US President Joe Biden visited the Mississippi town of Rolling Fork last Friday one week after it was devastated by a tornado that ripped through the southern state, killing at least 25 people.

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