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Joe Don Rooney’s Hometown Hit by Tornado

Joe Don Rooney
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Rascal Flatts‘ guitarist Joe Don Rooney’s hometown was one of many towns that were affected by a tornado on Sunday night (April 27).

According to KMBC, 25 people were injured on Sunday night in Baxter Springs, Kan., and one was pronounced dead although it’s unclear whether or not that death was tornado related. An emergency manager in the county estimated that the tornado was two to three blocks wide and hit the town in southeastern Kansas diagonally. The town was hit hard by the storm with 60 to 70 homes and 20 to 25 businesses affected.

Rooney was born in Baxter Springs, although he moved to Picher, Okla. as a kid and was raised there. In May 2008 the band played a show to aid Picher after it was ravaged by a tornado.

Although the damage was spread throughout the town, it happened quickly. “In about 30 seconds it was over,” resident Kenneth McCummber told KMBC following the storm.  “I did everything I could to hold the closet door shut … we heard the siren go off, and a few minutes later it hit.”

This tornado was one of several that were spread throughout the south-central U.S. on Sunday night (April 27). Twisters that touched down in Arkansas killed over a dozen.

Next: Country Stars React to the Arkansas Tornadoes

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