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Tornado injures 22 after sweeping through Jonesboro, Arkansas

Monday, March 30th 2020, 11:10 am - The tornado caused widespread damage and injured at least 22 people Saturday evening

Officials in Jonesboro, Ark. are taking stock of the damage Sunday after a tornado struck the city Saturday evening.

According to media reports, the twister caused widespread damage and injured at least 22 people. Of the injured, two remained in the hospital overnight Saturday but did not have life-threatening injuries, according to officials. Search and rescue efforts were completed Sunday morning, so now the cleanup and recovery phases have begun.

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 could impact weather forecast accuracy

The tornado was spawned from a far-reaching Colorado low that put 70 million Americans under the threat of severe weather at one point during the afternoon and evening hours on Saturday. It is also bringing a thunderstorm risk to parts of southern Ontario Sunday.

STORM DAMAGE

According to the National Weather Service's Little Rock office, the storm moved across Jonesboro around 5 p.m.local time. By 7 p.m., the mayor ordered a curfew for the city, which is about 210 kilometres northeast of Little Rock.

Images posted on social media from showed considerable damage across the city, including broken walls on the exterior of a mall, flattened commercial buildings, structural damages to houses, downed trees, as well debris scattered across parking lots.

There was also a report of a mangled vehicle in the mall parking lot, At the local airport, at least one airplane was flipped over and hangars were damaged.

While debris is cleared from roadways and other areas, the city's police chief urged residents to stay home. "We've already asked you to stay at home for this virus but we're really stressing to stay at home," Elliott said.

Before the storm reached Jonesboro, a confirmed tornado touched down near the town of Amagon, almost 50 kilometres southwest of the city.

SOCIAL MEDIA LIT UP WITH PHOTOS, VIDEOS

Shortly after the tornado touched down, residents quickly fled to social media with images and videos of it passing through, as well as the aftermath. Below is a selection of some them.

TWISTERS, FLOODING, HAIL REPORTED ELSEWHERE

According to the NWS' Storm Prediction Center, there were at least 17 tornado reports during Saturday's severe weather, but how many have been confirmed is yet to be determined. Tornado sightings were also reported Iowa in Black Hawk, Buchanan, Marshall Adams and Adair counties, among other areas. The NWS said power lines were knocked down and roofs were blown off in Jackson County, Arkansas.

Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms dropped various sizes of hail in Ohio, including golf-ball sized stones.

As well there was flash flooding in the Cleveland, Ohio, metro area early Sunday morning. The flooding led to water rescues and evacuations in several parts of Cuyahoga County, according to a flash flood warning issued by NWS.

DIXIE ALLEY ALSO A HOT SPOT FOR TORNADOES

Thumbnail courtesy of Matt Crane.

Sources: CNN | Weather.com

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