Major Tornado Outbreak Slams South Central States, Will Continue Overnight

Major Tornado Outbreak Slams South Central States, Will Continue Overnight

Workers flip a fallen wall as they search through homes destroyed by a tornado, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark.
Image: Eric Gay/Associated Press

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.

Major Tornado Outbreak Slams South Central States, Will Continue Overnight

Image: National Weather Service

“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.

Major Tornado Outbreak Slams South Central States, Will Continue Overnight

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.

In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency due to severe weather. One tornado brought down power lines, trees and homes in Athens, Ala, The Weather Channel said.

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:

#mswx #Tupelo #tupelotornado pic.twitter.com/ldYbjQqCA8

— Chase Smith (@smittyboy4) April 28, 2014

Preliminary damage survey of Tupelo tornado is possible EF-2, more assessment needed. #mswx pic.twitter.com/WkOW4rFFKw

— 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

Epic structure today in Brooksville, MS. One of my favorite shots. #mswx #tornadoes #outbreak #supercell #weather pic.twitter.com/JMzqQ98b41

— Brett Wright (@WxMstr) April 29, 2014

This is greenfield village in Pearl, MS. This pic is from a viewer. #mswx #wlbt pic.twitter.com/tk4G1IWQLA

— Kennan Oliphant (@TVNewsGuru) April 29, 2014

#Tornado damage along US 49 in Richland. pic.twitter.com/DFNNeMhXIJ

— Joe Ellis (@FauxToeJoe) April 29, 2014

Destroyed home in Leake County just outside of Louisville. The 2 women inside made it out alive. #mswx @16WAPTNews pic.twitter.com/yfC5UMiDqL

— Emily Anne Alexander (@Emily16WAPT) April 28, 2014

Large mesoscyclone visible over Columbus, MS on Nick McElhaney’s live cam @ http://t.co/2bvhyJTR7g pic.twitter.com/Cf0Gtxm2fV

— 28storms.com (@28storms) April 28, 2014

Major damage in Louisville pic.twitter.com/gRDbp5tZiC

— James Bryant (@nlrweatherman) April 28, 2014

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