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36 million Americans in path of powerful storm system

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are forecast Monday for southern Illinois to northern Louisiana. Cities at risk include Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Houston; Indianapolis; New Orleans and St. Louis.

A powerful storm system swept across Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, killing at least one person and injuring four others, emergency officials said, as millions of people were in the path of hurricane-force winds and possible tornadoes later Monday.

The storms destroyed a home near Ashdown, about 150 miles southwest of Little Rock, but it wasn't immediately known whether the damage was caused by powerful winds or a pop-up tornado, said Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Rick Fahr. The storm downed trees in western Arkansas and left about 5,800 homes and businesses without power Monday morning in the state.

The Storm Prediction Center estimated that more than 36 million people are in the path of damaging winds, possible tornadoes and heavy rainfall Monday, with the greatest risk for severe weather along the Mississippi River from extreme southern Illinois to northern Louisiana. Cities at risk for the nasty weather include Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Houston; Indianapolis; New Orleans and St. Louis.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 2 pm Central Daylight Time Monday for parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Widespread flash flooding is also expected in many areas as the storms dump heavy rainfall in a short period of time.

Damaging winds knocked out electricity and overturned trucks on Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma as powerful thunderstorms came through the state. Thousands of homes and businesses have lost electricity as thunderstorms soaked parts of North Texas.

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