WYNNE, Ark. (AP) — Residents across a wide swath of the U.S. raced Sunday 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.
The storms tore a path through the Arkansas capital and also collapsed the roof of a packed concert venue in Illinois, stunning people throughout the region with the scope of the damage. The number of deaths continued to grow Sunday.
“While we are still assessing the full extent of the damage, we know families across America are mourning the loss of loved ones, desperately waiting for news of others fighting for their lives, and sorting through the rubble of their homes and businesses,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Biden earlier declared broad areas of the country major disaster areas, making federal resources and financial aid available for recovery. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas, where at least five people were killed, already had declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. Confirmed or suspected tornadoes in 11 states destroyed homes and businesses, splintered trees and laid waste to neighborhoods.
The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that a tornado was responsible for damage to several homes near Bridgeville, Delaware. One person was found dead inside a house heavily damaged by the storm Saturday night, Delaware State Police reported.
It may take days to confirm all the recent tornadoes. The dead included at least nine in one Tennessee county, five in Indiana and four in Illinois. Other deaths from the storms that hit Friday night into Saturday were reported in Alabama and Mississippi.
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