Severe weather in recent weeks has left a trail of death and destruction across the US midwest [EPA]

Severe storms across the US Midwest have left at least eight people dead in the state of Arkansas, four of them as a result of flooding, officials said.

The weather service also issued flash flood warnings in the wake of severe thunderstorms, as more is predicted in the coming days.

Late on Monday a devastating tornado killed four people after slamming into the central town of Vilonia.

Chad Stover, an Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman, said the four people swept away by flooding were in the state's northwest.

"The entire state is at very severe risk for storm... we are urging all of our local citizens to be prepared, to have a plan for their families and where they would go for severe weather," he added.

In neighbouring Missouri, authorities evacuated 1,000 people along the swollen Black River following flash flood warnings on Tuesday.

At least one levee was reportedly breached near the Missouri city of Poplar Bluff, home to about 17,000 people.

In central and south Indiana, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood watch amid warnings of more thunderstorms expected through to Wednesday, saying heavy rains on already saturated ground could lead to overflowing rivers later in the week.

The NWS issued a similar, but more urgent warning for the small Kentucky town of Sulphur where a dam was on the brink of failing.

Torrential rain in recent weeks over a swath of the central US states has left the ground saturated and river levels dangerously high.

Powerful tornadoes also struck several southern and central US states earlier this month, killing 44 people and reducing whole neighbourhoods to rubble.

Source: Agencies