DAMASCUS, Ark. — Violent storms across the nation's midsection unleashed tornadoes, high winds and hail in four states and killed seven people in Arkansas on Friday, including a teenager who died when a tree fell into her bedroom as she slept.
The storms late Thursday and early Friday ripped off roofs and toppled train cars near Kansas City, Mo., pelted parts of Oklahoma with hail and knocked over tents at a popular open-air market in east Texas.
Greg Carbin, a meteorologist for the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said as many as 25 tornadoes may have cut through stretches of Oklahoma, Arkansas, eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
Five of those killed were in two north-central Arkansas counties, Conway and Van Buren, that also had fatalities in a devastating tornado Feb. 5. He said a man, a woman and a preschooler died when the storm hit their house just south of Bee Branch.
A father and son died in Conway County when a possible tornado hit their mobile home. A twister demolished a chicken farm in Center Springs, leaving thousands of dead birds.
Near the Oklahoma line in a working-class neighborhood of Siloam Springs, a 15-year-old girl died in the early morning when apparent straight-line winds toppled a tree into her family's mobile home. She and her 10-year-old brother were sleeping in bunk beds; the boy survived with minor injuries.
The seventh death was reported in Pulaski County, south of Little Rock.
The storms moved into Kentucky and Tennessee Friday evening and other severe weather developed in Illinois, forcing the cancellation of more than 200 flights at Chicago's O'Hare. A day before the Kentucky Derby, some race fans at Churchill Downs sought shelter Friday when the storms arrived in Louisville.