Tornadoes Strike Midwest and Southern U.S., Killing at Least 17

A powerful storm sent deadly tornadoes spiraling through the central and southern United States this weekend, leaving at least 17 dead and countless others injured.

The first tornado to touch down hit a small northeastern town in Oklahoma, killing one and leaving extensive damage behind. From there, it moved north through Kansas, where injuries and property damage were reported.

A few hours later, a half-mile wide twister touched ground just outside of Little Rock and continued on for close to 30 miles, turning homes and businesses into rubble. Damage is "widespread" in Mayflower, Arkansas and there are reports of numerous injuries, but no deaths.

Tornados also touched down Sunday in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. Iowa, Illinois and Missouri are under a storm watch through Sunday night.

North Carolina saw similar weather on Friday, when eight twisters struck across the state, killing an infant and injuring 12 others—including an elderly woman who was sucked out of her mobile home as it was thrown across a field. She is expected to recover.

UPDATE 7:58AM: The death toll from Arkansas now stands at 16, bringing the total from the storms to 17.

UPDATE 12:10 AM: The death toll is up to five—four in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma.

[image via AP]