Death count rises after tornadoes hit central and south U.S.

MAYFLOWER, Arkansas (NBC) – The twister was nearly a mile wide as it slammed into Mayflower, Arkansas Sunday night. The long track tornado crossed through multiple counties.

After the dangerous storms passed, rescue workers and neighbors had to free people from their cars and homes.

Another tornado hit Vilonia, Arkansas. Homes appear to be destroyed, windows in businesses busted out and cars turned upside down.

In Arkansas, the latest reports confirm 16 people dead after Sunday’s storms. The community is still coming to terms with what happened.

“We were in church and some of the people were apparently getting weather notifications on their phone. Then, I got one on my phone so I jumped up and run outside and sure enough right back over here, right over these buildings here, it was pretty wide, some people saying half a mile wide. So it was huge, it was a dark cloud, I run back in and was like it’s on the way, we all kind of hunkered down in here, and fortunately, thank God everybody is okay, there’s no injuries that we know of here in this location,” said Brian Pruitt, Vilonia resident.

Another person was killed when a tornado hit the town of Quapaw, Oklahoma last night, and another person was killed in Iowa.  That brings the total number of deaths so far to 18.

A preliminary report from the National Weather Service says there were 31 tornadoes on Sunday night.

 

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