Severe thunderstorms left swaths of destruction for a second straight day in parts of the Midwest and Southeast after a string of tornadoes ripped through several states.
At least three people were killed in Illinois and Missouri in Tuesday’s storms. Others were injured, and cars were left scattered on highways.
The National Weather Service said that 26 tornadoes ripped through parts of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee on Tuesday, and there was one tornado each in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia on Wednesday. No fatalities or injuries were reported in Wednesday’s twisters.
Damage near Nashville
Strong storms stripped siding and roof tiles off homes and damaged a bank in the area of Franklin, Tennessee, a city south of Nashville, authorities said.
The weather service was trying to determine whether a tornado hit near the CoolSprings Galleria mall, CNN affiliate WSMV-TV reported.
A woman in Brentwood, just across the city line from the mall, recorded video from a convenience store showing rain and wind furiously pushing small debris outside. About 18,000 utility customers in the area were without power at one point Tuesday, WSMV reported.
Junked cars blown across highway
A tornado wreaked heavy damage Tuesday night in eastern Missouri, where one person was killed as the twister blew as many as 20 vehicles from a junkyard onto Interstate 55, authorities said.
The man driving on I-55 near Perryville was killed as a result of the twister, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum said, without elaborating. Nothum said there were also several injuries, mostly among drivers and passengers in three tractor-trailer rigs struck by debris.
“This tornado picked up about 15 to 20 of these old cars, picked them up, blew them out of the junkyard, across the county road and into Interstate 55,” he said. The injuries to the other drivers were minor, “which is amazing when you see how far these tractor-trailer units were pushed,” Nothum said.
The tornado had a 13-mile path and destroyed some houses in the city, leaving about 60 families who have “lost about everything,” Mayor Ken Baer said.
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