At least two people were killed at an Arkansas nursing home as severe weather lashed the region on Friday night, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day confirmed to CBS News. At least five other people at the Monette Manor nursing home sustained serious injuries.
The status of the remaining residents is not yet clear, Day said, but first responders are on the scene.
The casualties come as Arkansas and other southern states areFriday night and through the weekend. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning, which means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar, for the southeastern part of Craighead County, where the nursing home is located.
A tornado warning has also been issued for Paducah, Kentucky, and tornadoes have been spotted in Arkansas and Tennessee.
The storms also caused significant damage to an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, according to a reporter from CBS affiliate KMOV who was on the scene. The reporter said approximately one-third of the warehouse was torn down or damaged, and said family members believe there are people trapped inside.
The storms come hours after the National Weather Service forecast that more that 17 million people across parts of the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys could see moderate to enhanced risks of severe weather Friday night. The agency issued a specific warning about “nocturnal” tornadoes — tornadoes that happen late at night — noting that they can be more dangerous than storms that happen during the day.
“We believe the storms tonight, some of them, will have the potential to produce fairly long-track tornadoes, meaning several miles in length,” Bill Bunting, a Storm Prediction Center meteorologist, told CBS News earlier Friday. “That is capable of doing significant structural damage.”
Tori B. Powell contributed reporting.