CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms spawned suspected tornadoes and triggered widespread flooding that left at least three people dead in Kentucky and Arkansas.
The system that stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces on Sunday had prompted emergency declarations a day earlier in Missouri, Indiana and Illinois.
In south central Kentucky, the body of a male was recovered from a vehicle submerged in floodwaters in a creek near the community of Franklin on Saturday, the Simpson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The victim’s identify was being withheld pending notification of relatives.
About 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, Dallas Jane Combs, 79, died after a suspected tornado destroyed her Adairville home earlier Saturday, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office told media outlets. Sheriff officials said Combs was inside the home when it collapsed on her. Combs was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said Combs’ husband was outside putting up plastic to keep rain out of the home when he was blown into the basement area. He sustained minor injuries.
In northeast Arkansas, an 83-year-old man was killed after high winds toppled a trailer home. Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller told KAIT-TV that Albert Foster died Saturday night after the home was blown into a pond.
About 50 miles (80 kilometers) away, the National Weather Service said the roof was blown off a hotel in Osceola, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) north of Memphis, Tennessee.
Storm-related damage also was reported in Middle Tennessee, where Fox17 in Nashville reported extensive damage to homes and vehicles. Fox17 says at least a dozen homes were damaged in one Montgomery County subdivision.
The National Weather Service said it was sending crews to survey damage in a section of central Tennessee.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order earlier Saturday declaring a state of emergency ahead of the anticipated storms and flooding in parts of southern Missouri. The order activates the resources of the Missouri National Guard and ensures state resources are available in the event of weather damage.
Other state leaders have issued similar orders: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb declared a disaster emergency for 11 counties and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hit by flooding.
Flood watches and warnings spanned multiple states Sunday morning, from Missouri to central Pennsylvania, while a wind advisory remained in effect for nearly all of Lower Michigan.
The weather service said moderate flooding was expected along the Ohio River in Kentucky and Ohio, including in Cincinnati, where the river was 8 feet above flood stage Sunday.
Transportation officials said parts of Interstate 64 in Louisville, Kentucky, were closed in both directions Sunday due to high water.