Kenneth Bruton was exiting a grocery store when he got into his pickup truck, looked back and saw the tornado coming over a hill.
“I got out of my truck and started running for shelter,” Bruton told KARK. The force of the wind hit him on the face, he said, but he was able to turn it into a drawing room.
“And when I came in, huddled against the concrete barrier, every single pane of glass blew out and people were blown back,” Bruton said. “And I persevered. And it must have been a minute, just huddled. I thought I was definitely a goner.
The State of Arkansas Emergency Operations Center issued a full activation in response to the severe weather Friday afternoon, according to a rack.
Widespread weather outbreak
Severe weather warnings and tornado watches covered a stretch from east Texas to Indiana and Ohio on Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.
In Belvidere, Illinois, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago, one person was killed and dozens injured when the roof of a live music venue collapsed, authorities said. An initial assessment indicated that a tornado likely caused the damage, Belvidere police said.
Southwest of Indianapolis, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office said a storm wreaked havoc in the city of Sullivan, knocking out power lines, multiple gas leaks and power outages. No deaths have been reported, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
More than 94,000 utility customers were without power in Illinois, about 80,000 in Indiana and more than 65,000 in Arkansas late Friday, according to power failure.us.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Friday afternoon ahead of severe weather expected in the western part of the state.
In Tennessee, Tipton County and other areas were under a “tornado emergency” Friday night. in Covington, said the police the city was “impassable”, and crews attempted to clear roads and search and rescue teams were organized. No deaths were reported.
Tornado warnings were issued in Iowa on Friday, and they were in effect reports of tornadoes on the ground.
Videosraked Through NBC affiliate KWWL of Waterloo, Iowa, showed damage to buildings in Coralville, a town of about 22,000 adjacent to Iowa City.
Flash flooding from thunderstorms also posed a risk from the Midwest to the Lower Mississippi Valley on Friday, the U.S. said. National Weather Service. The areas most at risk of flooding through Friday evening are in the Ohio, Tennessee and Lower Mississippi valleys.
The storm comes a week after tornadoes hit Mississippi and Alabama, killing 26 people and causing extensive damage.
Emma Li , Christian Santana, Kurt Chirbas And Dennis Romero contributed.