A line of violent storms led to at least nine deaths in Oklahoma and Arkansas, before moving eastward today across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
In Arkansas, the death toll increased to seven today after Little Rock police spokesman Terry Hastings said a mother and her 8-year-old son were killed overnight by a tree that fell on their home. A sleeping infant in the next room was not harmed, Hastings said.
Five other weather-related deaths were reported in central and western parts of the state early Friday.
A boy, 6, in Bald Knob, Ark., was killed when a tree fell on his home. In Garland County, a 24-year-old man and his 18-month-old daughter were killed after a tree struck by lightning fell on their mobile home.
"I didn't think it would happen to a friend of mine," said Kasey Neal, who lived nearby, "but now we're standing here talking about the loss of a friend and their little girl that they'll never get back."
In eastern Arkansas, Lardelah Anderson, 64, of the town of Colt, was killed when strong winds during a thunderstorm flipped her double-wide trailer onto its roof. Her 65-year-old husband was taken to the hospital with injuries.
Tornado Kills Sisters
Two elderly sisters were killed when a tornado struck Tushka, Okla., late Thursday night. The twister chewed a path a mile wide and nine miles long through the southeast Oklahoma town.
With only minutes before the storm hit, Randy Walker and his family scrambled into a storm shelter.
"That's when this tree fell," he said. "It sounded like an explosion."
The 100-year-old oak trapped him and his family for an hour and a half until neighbors used a chainsaw to free them. The Walkers found their home in ruins.
Twister Destroys Schools in Tushka
Tushka Public School Principal Matt Simpson said the twister leveled five school buildings, including the town's only elementary and high schools. For fifth-grader Ryley Godfrey and 400 other students, the school year came to a halt.
"It's just horrible," Godfrey said. "It's all gone. No more school. Bye-bye."
Superintendent Bill Pingleton said the town would rebuild. "This little old school has been here a long time. It's the heartbeat of our community. You'd have to hang me up from a tall tree if we didnt try our darndest to put this thing back together and we will," he said.
In North Texas, strong thunderstorms interrupted power to about 90,000 homes and businesses. And rough weather hit Kansas with high winds reported in far western areas of the state.
This outbreak caps a week of nasty weather across the center of the country. South Dakota was hit with spring snow while parts of Wisconsin suffered tornadoes.
And in North Dakota and Minnesota, the swollen Red River has swallowed roads and farms and cut off some residents from their neighbors.
ABC News' Clayton Sandell and The Associated Press contributed to this article.