(AP) – May 2, 2008 -- Severe storms that rolled across Arkansas early Friday killed at least seven people, including a teenager crushed by a tree while she slept in her bed. The deaths came after earlier storms seriously damaged homes and businesses in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Tornadoes were also reported in Oklahoma and Texas, although there were no immediate reports of severe damage.
Police said the 15-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell through a bedroom where she was sleeping in Siloam Springs in north Arkansas. A father and son also were killed in their mobile home in central Arkansas, the Conway County Sheriff's Office said.
Three deaths also were confirmed in Van Buren County, and one person died in Pulaski County. At least 13 people were injured throughout the state, emergency officials said.
The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for several counties in central and north Arkansas, while trained spotters reported a tornado down near Damascus and another near Carlisle. There also were unconfirmed reports of tornadoes at Center Ridge and near Greers Ferry, and law enforcement agencies reported tornado sightings in East End, Hensley, Keo, and Woodson.
"It sounded like all hell was breaking loose," said Randy Payne, 38, who hid in a hallway at his aunt and uncle's house in Damascus.
In the Kansas City area, officials said several people were injured, none seriously. About 40,000 lost power at the peak of the storm, which brought wind of up to 80 mph. Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser said 100 homes suffered significant damage in the city alone. Damage was also reported in the suburbs and in Lawrence, to the west.
In northeast Kansas City, dozens of homes had chunks of their roofs missing, and trees were knocked from their roots and laying along the roads and in ditches. Police blocked off roads surrounding the damaged neighborhoods Friday.
In Canton, Texas, local officials said an apparent tornado Friday ripped down power lines and injured two people in overturned vehicles. Details on their condition were not immediately available.
The storm hit as visitors were beginning to show up for a popular open-air market that draws thousands to the county seat each month.
At least two tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma late Thursday, including one near Ralston, though no injuries or significant damage was reported there.
Storms pound Arkansas, damage homes around Kansas City
May 2, 2008