Tornadoes Kill 5, Destroy Homes In Texas, Arkansas
Heavy storm and tornadoes continued to destroy lives and properties. Five people reportedly died, and mobile homes were shattered by strong tornadoes across Texas and Arkansas.
Among those dead was a young couple, Michael and Melissa Mooneyhan, who lost their lives while trying to protect their 18-month-old daughter from the storm. When the twister struck the mobile home of the Nashville couple, it turned over and exploded, informed Howard County Coroner John Gray.
“That poor little girl is never going to know them,” Gray said. “But she’s young enough that she’ll never remember what happened.”
The little girl was handed over to relatives after being treated for injuries in a hospital.
“The family has been hit hard. They’re strong, but it’s almost like to the point you’re afraid to breathe,” said Polly McCammack, Melissa’s third cousin.
Michael Mooneyhan was an employee of a deli department, while Melissa was a housewife.
“That baby was definitely their life. They considered her their greatest blessing. You couldn’t find two parents who loved a child more,” McCammack said. “She’s going to grow up knowing family and knowing love.”
A tornado ripped through the small town of Van, destroying about 30 percent of the community. Authorities confirmed the deaths of two people.
Reports of destruction and loss of lives are coming in continuously. Eight people were reported missing in Van, southeast of Dallas. But by late Monday night, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jean Dark informed that the missing people were traced.
An EF3 tornado with speed ranging from 215 kph to 225 kph uprooted trees, compressed buildings, disrupted power lines and also destroyed homes.
According to two East Texas hospitals, at least 42 people were injured, among them, four is said to be in critical condition.
According to meteorologist Greg Carbin, 20 to 25 tornadoes formed Sunday in South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas.
“This is certainly not an atypical system for spring where you’ve got the remnants of winter but the onset of summer,” Carbin said.
Dave Birks, girls’ basketball coach at South Central Calhoun High School, said that people ha narrow escapes just two minutes before the twister arrived.