At least two people were killed and several more injured in a series of tornadoes that tore through multiple US states, demolishing an elderly care facility as well as an Amazon warehouse, trapping victims inside.
Violent twisters touched down in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky on Friday night, prompting widespread tornado warnings. The remnants of a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas – where two were killed and another five wounded – were seen in photos shared on social media, showing a massive emergency response in the area.
Large funnels elsewhere in the state were captured in other images making the rounds online.
Fire officials in Edwardsville, Illinois made a mass casualty declaration after an Amazon location sustained massive structural damage and reportedly left up to 100 workers stuck in the rubble.
One reporter on the ground noted that the collapse may have inflicted deaths as well, though officials have yet to provide details on casualties.
#BREAKING Several dozen emergency crews at the Amazon Warehouse on Gateway Commerce Center Drive. About a third of the warehouse is torn down and damaged from either straight by line winds or tornado. People Who have family members inside say people are trapped@KMOVpic.twitter.com/hszi8YQ339
— Jenna Rae (@journalismjenna) December 11, 2021
Missouri saw its own inclement weather on Friday, with footage showing jet-black twisters as they swept through the state – only visible after dark thanks to periodic flashes of lightning.
A tornado that first touched down in Arkansas later traveled into Kentucky, and at one point was reportedly one-mile wide, prompting calls from officials for residents to take cover, while one local meteorologist even suggested they “put on a helmet.”
In addition to the spate of twisters, winter storm warnings were also declared across a large swath of the Midwest on Friday, with heavy snows expected to blow westward toward Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa and Nebraska, among other states.