At least 23 people have died after tornadoes and severe storms tore through the south-central United States.
As of Monday night, there were reports of 15 tornado-related deaths in Arkansas, up to six in Alabama, one in Mississippi and one in Oklahoma. Another death was reported in the Midwestern state of Iowa.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center issued tornado watches Monday night for most of Alabama, northwest Georgia, southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southern-middle Tennessee, effective until 3 a.m. CT (4 a.m. ET). There are threats of multiple tornadoes, including a few that are “intense,” as well as “widespread damaging” wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and scattered large hail.
“Though the risk for violent tornadoes has — and should continue to — gradually decrease … [the] likelihood for strong tornadoes continues, and should persist for several hours this evening, as the storms move [eastward] through an amply unstable/strongly sheared environment,” the NWS said.
It also stressed that nighttime tornadoes can be deadlier than daytime ones because they are typically fast-moving and difficult to see. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, the service recommends moving to a safe place, ideally in a basement or an interior room on the bottom floor of a strong building.
A severe weather outbreak will continue into Monday night, affecting parts of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, the NWS added. The service also issued on Monday night flash-flood warnings for parts of southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama.
Arkansas suffered the worst-related damage so far, with tornadoes slamming the cities of Mayflower and Vilonia, where they destroyed homes and tossed around cars, according to The Weather Channel.
Widespread damage and flying debris were reported in Mississippi, where Gov. Phil Bryant also declared a state of emergency.
In Quapaw, Okla., a town of 900 people, 60 buildings were damaged, according to local media.
We’ve compiled tweeted images of the damage, below:
— Chase Smith (@smittyboy4) April 28, 2014
— NWS Memphis (@NWSMemphis) April 29, 2014
I think images are about to get worse out of Tupelo. The debris ball was insane on radar. pic.twitter.com/csuA8ikkmX
— Tate Harrington (@TheTateProject) April 28, 2014
— Brett Wright (@WxMstr) April 29, 2014
— Kennan Oliphant (@TVNewsGuru) April 29, 2014
— Joe Ellis (@FauxToeJoe) April 29, 2014
— Emily Anne Alexander (@Emily16WAPT) April 28, 2014
— 28storms.com (@28storms) April 28, 2014
Major damage in Louisville pic.twitter.com/gRDbp5tZiC
— James Bryant (@nlrweatherman) April 28, 2014
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