A worker photographs debris in the middle of the road following a tornado in Belvidere, Ill., on Saturday after severe weather killed at least 18 people across the Midwest late Friday. Photo by Matt Marton/EPA-EFE
April 1 (UPI) -- Severe weather and tornados caused havoc in the Central United States late Friday, killing several people and leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without power across at least five states.
The death toll from the storms was placed at 18, according to a tally performed by ABC News on Saturday, including five killed in Arkansas, three in Indiana and one each in Illinois, Alabama and Mississippi.
Another seven people were confirmed killed in McNairy County, Tennessee, according to WBBJ-TV.
Tornadoes made landfall in Arkansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, and Indiana, the National Weather Service said.
Those killed in Arkansas included four in the town of Wynne, Ark., according to Cross Counter Coroner Eli Long. Cross Ridge Community Hospital told WREG-TV at least 26 people were admitted to the facility with storm-related injuries.
Buildings were extensively damaged in the state capital of Little Rock, where at least 24 people were hospitalized, Mayor Frank Scott Jr., said in a tweet.
"As dawn breaks we start the long process of recovery and rebuilding," he said in a Saturday morning update. "Little Rock is resilient & we will rebound stronger. Thanks to all first responders and volunteers."
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said state officials were "certainly prepared" for the death toll to rise.
A sate of emergency is in place across the Arkansas and National Guard units have been activated to assist recovery efforts.
Power lines were knocked out, leaving over 52,000 Arkansas customers without power as of 10 a.m. EST Saturday, according to poweraoutage.com.
Nearly 250,000 customers were without power in Indiana, Arkansas, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio cumulatively.
Tens of thousands remained without power on Saturday afternoon.
National Weather Service personnel found themselves at the center of the chaos and had to be evacuated from an office in Little Rock as tornados approached the immediate area Friday.
Meanwhile, one person was killed and 28 injured when the roof of a theater collapsed during a heavy metal concert in Belvedere, Ill.
"About 260 people were inside the theatre at the time of the roof collapse and we initiated a large-scale response involving numerous agencies," said Belvedere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle.
Further north, the storm took the form of an April Fool's Day blizzard in Minnesota, where the heavy snow caused tree branches to snap power lines and knock out electricity to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.
The National Weather Service reported 8.5 inches of snow at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which raised the season's total to 89.7 inches -- the third-most on record for the Twin Cities.