A deadly storm system swept through the midsection of United States on Friday, spawning ferocious tornadoes in Arkansas and Indiana, collapsing a roof at a packed concert venue in Illinois, and leaving millions of people under tornado watches from Texas to Michigan.
In Arkansas, the governor declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon after officials said one person was killed in North Little Rock and four died in Wynne, about 100 miles to the east, in separate tornadoes.
The mayor of Little Rock, Frank Scott Jr., said that at least 30 people were hospitalized there and that more than 2,000 homes were damaged. The storm did extensive damage to businesses and apartment complexes, the local police said.
In Wynne, Mayor Jennifer Hobbs told CNN that the town had been “cut in half by damage from east to west.”
The precise scope of the damage was not immediately clear. A junior high school in the town had been opened for people seeking shelter and food.
On Friday night in northern Illinois, a person was killed and 28 others were hospitalized after the roof collapsed at a theater in Belvidere with 260 people inside, the fire chief, Shawn Schadle, told reporters at the scene. He said five people had severe injuries.
Footage posted to social media appeared to show patrons at the venue, the Apollo Theater, trying to find people beneath the rubble.
One of the bands on the bill, Morbid Angel, said in a Facebook post that the band’s members were still sheltering in place at the venue. The National Weather Service reported “possible tornado damage” in Belvidere.
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About 200 miles south, in the village of Sherman, Ill., more than a dozen homes were significantly damaged, Trevor J. Clatfelter, the mayor, said by phone Friday night. The storm, he said, had also caused major gas leaks, electricity outages and downed power poles across the village.
Roughly 150 miles to the east of Sherman, in Sullivan Country, Ind., three people were also killed after a tornado, according to Sgt. Matt Ames of the Indiana State Police.
He said in an earlier interview with local news that the local Veterans of Foreign Wars building was “completely gone.” Pictures posted on social media by the V.F.W. chapter showed a mangled structure stripped of its roof.
At least one person was killed and four others were injured in Pontotoc County, Miss., which is about 110 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Across the state, there were reports of damaged homes and downed trees.
In Covington, Tenn., six people were hospitalized after a tornado in the city, Kimberly Alexander, a spokeswoman for Baptist Memorial Hospital, said by phone on Friday night
On Saturday morning, Ms. Alexander said that the hospital did not treat any additional patients, though it did sustain roof damage but remained open. On Facebook, the Covington Police Department described the city as “impassable.”
In addition to Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee, tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service across Wisconsin, Iowa and Mississippi. As the storm system moved eastward early on Saturday, tornado warnings remained in place for parts of Alabama and Georgia, according to the National Weather Service.
The governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that officials there were on alert for the death toll to rise.
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