4 dead after tornadoes slam Texas, Arkansas; 3 missing people found alive

Tornadoes rip through Texas and Arkansas, killing 4 and injuring dozens

Emergency workers sifted through debris in parts of the Midwest on Monday after tornadoes slammed the region, killing four people and leaving dozens injured.

Two people died after a tornado pummeled the small city of Van, Texas, on Sunday night. To the north in Nashville, Ark., a couple died inside a mobile home when a tornado tore through the area, but their toddler survived.

In Van, about 70 miles east of Dallas, three people were missing but have been found, officials said late Monday. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jean Dark said that although everyone on the missing list has been accounted for, cadaver dogs are checking the area just to be safe.

About 30% of the city was damaged by the strong storm, said Chuck Allen, the Van Zandt County fire marshal and emergency management coordinator. The city has a population of about 2,500.

Allen also said at a news conference Monday afternoon that officials had confirmed that the tornado was an EF3, with winds of 135 mph to 140 mph.

“It’s a terrible thing to have to deal with something like this,” said Van Mayor Dean Stone. “You never expect to have to deal with something like this, but here we are, we’re dealing with it.”

A triage area was established at a church and more than 40 residents had been taken to hospitals, though officials said many of the injuries were not life threatening.

"I felt like the roof was just making such a racket that I thought it was peeling the roof off.... I thought, this is it, I’m gone," Van resident Dee Anderson told a local television station.

Utility companies worked to restore "vital infrastructures," and road and bridge crews were working to open streets and highways to allow access to first responders Monday.

Weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was clear Monday; thunderstorms were forecast for Tuesday, prompting possible flash flood warnings.

“We have a little reprieve for the day. We’ll see an increase of strong storms tomorrow and that will put people on alert again,” said Matt Bishop, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

For several days, much of the Midwest has been hammered by thunderstorms that have brought strong winds, hail and tornadoes. On Saturday, a tornado in Eastland County, 100 miles west of Dallas, killed one person and tore through dozens of buildings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

7:17 p.m.: This article has been updated to add that the missing people have been found.

1:54 p.m.: This article has been updated throughout.

11:28 a.m.: This article has been updated with information on Monday's weather. 

9:22 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional information. 

7:38 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional comments. 

4:34 a.m.: This article has been updated to include a report of two people dead and details of the emergency response.

1:17 a.m.: This article has been updated throughout with additional background and information. 

This article was originally published at 12:47 a.m.

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