US storms leave at least five dead

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The Independent US

Rescue crews resumed work yesterday after violent storms carved out damage three miles wide in Arkansas, leaving at least two residents of a small town dead. Three other people were killed when floodwaters swept vehicles off the road.

A tornado swept through Vilonia, where the two people died on Monday. Vilonia's fire chief, Keith Hillman, said 50 to 60 people remained unaccounted for but he expected many simply were not reachable.

Authorities closed roads around the central Arkansas town, about 25 miles north of Little Rock, and cautioned residents not to venture back with chainsaws to help clear the debris.

Meanwhile, in Madison County in north-western Arkansas, a man and a woman died after floodwaters swept their car off the road. In neighbouring Washington County, another woman died when her car was swept off a highway.