Crews search for missing after twisters hit Texas, Arkansas

30 Percent Of Texas Town Damaged By Severe Weather
VAN, Texas (AP) -- Emergency responders on Monday searched through wreckage in parts of Texas and Arkansas after a line of tornadoes battered several small communities, killing at least five people, including a young couple whose daughter survived.

Eight people were still missing in a rural East Texas town, raising the possibility that the number of dead could climb.

The couple in their late 20s or early 30s died when a twister hit their mobile home late Sunday in the Arkansas town of Nashville, Howard County Coroner John Gray said.

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Crews search for missing after twisters hit Texas, Arkansas
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Residents walk along storm damage along Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Residents and volunteers walk over downed power lines along storm damaged Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: A storm damaged home on Pennsylvania Street is seen after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

David and Brenda Tapley were killed in the tornado that hit Van, Texas on Sunday and when family members searched through the wreckage on Tuesday, they found the family bible lying in the rubble open to a very special page.

VAN, TX - MAY 11: An uprooted tree lies on a playground near J.E. Rhodes Elementary School after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: David Hopkins (L) clears debris as his brother Michael Hopkins (2nd L) surveys damage from the roof of his home after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Van is looking rough this morning. Still waiting to hear details but I've heard there were casualties. Please continue to pray. This is a trampoline.
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Residents clear downed trees from storm damage along Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Residents survey storm damage near Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Residents walk past a damaged house on storm ravaged Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: A house sits severely damaged with downed on Pennsylvania Street after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: David Hopkins clears debris from the storm damaged roof of his brother's home after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Brenda Cole (L) and Andrew Cole survey the damage of the their home and garage after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Barbara Brown of Van, Texas rests against a wall outside a Red Cross Shelter with a dog named Cujo, at the First Baptist Church after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Volunteers and officials search through the destruction near Van Intermediate School after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
VAN, TX - MAY 11: Volunteers and officials search through the destruction near Van Intermediate School after a tornado May 11, 2015 in Van, Texas. The small city of Van, Texas was struck by a tornado in the evening of May 10, leaving at least two dead and more missing. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
A street sign at the intersection of Hwy 377 and Mosscreek Drive lies on the ground after a possible tornado touched down in the Bent Creek Estates neighborhood in Denton, Texas, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Mark Johnston helps his friend Jason Farris put his fence back up after a possible tornado touched down in their neighborhood in Denton, Texas, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Jason Olsen clears a downed tree blocking his driveway after a possible tornado touched down in his neighborhood in Denton, Texas, on Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
News crews are out covering the devastation. #tornado #van
Cars destroyed by #VanTornado in Texas. 10 people unaccounted for #FoxNews http://t.co/16CW8mPATX
First tornado caught in Eads, Colorado. Perfect set up! Caught 4 different tornadoes from this storm! #tornado #severeweather #colorado
Third larger tornado caught in Eads, Colorado. Perfect set up! Caught 4 different tornadoes from this storm! #tornado #severeweather #colorado
#tornado #texas #ciscotexas #i20 #crazy
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Their daughter was 1 or 2 years old. He did not release the parents' names.

Once the word spreads, he added, the deaths will be a blow to the community.

"That's what it's like in a small town," Gray said. "You either know them or you know somebody who knows them."

In neighboring Texas, a likely tornado pummeled the small town of Van, damaging about 30 percent of the community, according to Chuck Allen, fire marshal and emergency management coordinator for Van Zandt County.

Authorities confirmed at least two deaths as they surveyed the damage. Eight people were still unaccounted for in Van, population 2,600, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas.

Rescuers went door to door following the storms. Damage appeared to be widespread, with trees uprooted and numerous homes and buildings flattened or ripped apart.

About 50 people spent the night at an American Red Cross shelter at a church.

Firefighters in Corsicana, 60 miles southwest of Van, recovered the body of a motorist early Monday after weekend storms dumped 11 inches of rain.

Preliminary reports indicate 20 to 25 tornadoes formed Sunday in South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas, according to meteorologist Greg Carbin of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

The storm system was expected to slowly move east, he said, with a low possibility for tornadoes in lower Michigan on Monday. Thunderstorms were forecast from Texas to the Great Lakes region.

"This is certainly not an atypical system for spring where you've got the remnants of winter but the onset of summer," Carbin said.

The National Weather Service believes at least one tornado hit Van on Sunday night, senior meteorologist Eric Martello said. Weather service crews were surveying the area Monday.

Floods resulting from the same storm system that rolled across North Texas caused a huge sinkhole to open up in Granbury, some 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth. The 40-foot-wide sinkhole swallowed the parking lot of a supermarket and damaged water and sewer lines beneath, WFAA-TV reported.

Farther north, in Lake City, Iowa, a suspected tornado tore the roof from a high school as about 150 students, family and faculty attended an awards ceremony inside Sunday night.

Dave Birks, girls' basketball coach at South Central Calhoun High School, said people were able to flee to the basement and locker room area about two minutes before the twister arrived.

"The lights went off, and everyone's ears kind of popped," Birks said, adding that school windows were blown out and insulation was scattered nearby. He also said the high jump pit from the school's outdoor athletic complex was missing, and hurdles were scattered everywhere.

Much earlier Sunday, storms struck the small town of Delmont in South Dakota, hurting nine people.

"Our house is flat. There is nothing left," said Stephanie Lunder, 34, who took shelter with her husband and four children in the basement.

The town's 200-plus residents were asked to leave for safety reasons, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kristi Turman said. They were to be allowed back on Monday to assess their property.

Elsewhere, winter seemed to return briefly to parts of the Dakotas.

The National Weather Service posted winter weather advisories and warnings for southeastern North Dakota and north-central South Dakota, with a couple of inches of snow and strong winds expected. The same area experienced more than 8 inches of snow over the weekend, breaking snowfall records for those dates in Rapid City.

On Sunday, another likely tornado ripped roofs off buildings and damaged trees near Denton, about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Torrential rains led to widespread flash flooding. Authorities in Denton County said two groups of people had to be taken by helicopter to safety.

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Associated Press writers Kelly P. Kissel and Allen Reed in Little Rock contributed to this report.

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