Crews searched through the rubble of homes and businesses torn apart by a tornado that ripped through the Dallas area on Sunday night as one person was killed by a falling tree in Arkansas as the storms moved to the north-east.
Radar confirmed the tornado struck near Love Field Airport and moved north-east through the city at about 9pm on Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Godwin.
There were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries in Texas early on Monday but Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says three people were hospitalised for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries. Tens of thousands of people were without electricity.
One person died in north-west Arkansas when a tree fell on a home in Rogers, about 150 miles north-west of Little Rock, according to the Benton County Department of Public Safety.
Arkansas Governoe Asa Hutchinson said “significant storm damage” occurred in the north-west of the state.
Damage was also reported in the north-east corner of Arkansas in the town of Tyronza, where two people were reported injured, Jonesboro TV station KAIT reported.
Power was out at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, about 155 miles north-west of Little Rock.
The airport says flights were still departing, though security screenings were being done manually.
The storms also caused damage in Oklahoma and Missouri.
Tornado warnings were in effect on Monday morning in far eastern Arkansas near the Mississippi River as the storm system moved to the east.
The Storm Prediction Centre in Norman, Oklahoma, says areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee could see severe thunderstorms later on Monday.
In Texas, heavy damage was reported in north-west Dallas and Richardson. Nearly 140,000 electric customers were without power as of 4am on Monday, according to Oncor’s online outage map. The electric utility said storms across east Texas had caused significant damage to power lines.
Around 65,000 of the affected electric customers were in Dallas, according to the city, which said it would open a shelter.
Crews searched through homes and businesses that were accessible for about six hours overnight but were hampered by “limited access and lack of proper lighting”. A second set of teams were to resume search efforts in daylight.