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Monday, April 28, 2014

Images of the Destruction Left By Tornadoes in the Midwest and South

A lethal storm system rumbled over a broad swath of the United States over the weekend, spawning several tornadoes that damaged homes and buildings and left authorities scrambling to find the dead and help the injured.

As I report with my colleague Alan Blinder, at least nine people died after tornadoes ripped through parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas on Sunday, setting the tornado-prone Midwest and South on edge on the third anniversary of one of the deadliest tornado streaks in history.

A baby boy who was injured in North Carolina died Sunday, two days after the force of a tornado collapsed the roof of his home, his uncle said on a webpage set up to raise money for the boy’s family. Richard Bain said that his nephew Gavin had been in a coma since Friday at a hospital in Norfolk, Va.

“My sister is a single mother of two trying to go to school and now has had everything taken away from her,” he said. “I wish I could do something more than this.”

Mr. Bain said his nephew was home with his niece, Brylee, and the children’s mother, Ashley Bain, who is Mr. Bain’s sister, when the roof of their home caved in on them. The storm lifted the house 30 feet into the air, then dropped it, he said. Ms. Bain and Gavin were pinned underneath a ceiling beam, but Brylee was able to escape and get help.

The tornadoes severely damaged a firehouse in Quapaw, Okla., and reduced to rubble parts of Mayflower and Vilona, Ark. Many people took to social media to show the extensive path of destruction left behind by the storms.

Thomas Gounley, a business reporter for the Springfield News-Leader, snapped a photo of the Quapaw firehouse before a tornado cut through the city of 900, killing one person.

After the storm passed, Kade Witten posted a photo showing the damage to the firehouse from the rear. Other photos showed firefighters carrying out equipment.

The damage appeared to be much worse in Arkansas, where the number of fatalities was still being counted and was expected to climb overnight. Garrett Johnson posted a panoramic view of the leveled homes and buildings just off I-40 in Mayflower.

Residents of the River Plantation, an residential area between Mayflower and Palarm, Ark. posted photos of the tornado.

Part of Vilona was destroyed in April 2011, when a tornado killed four people during one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history. Over a span of three days, more than 350 people in six states.

Mayflower was the site of an oil spill in 2013, when an Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying tar sands from Canada ruptured and spilled several thousand barrels of crude oil.

The National Weather Service confirmed that six tornadoes touched down in eastern North Carolina on Friday. Hunter Pridgen filmed one of them as it moved over Washington, a city about 20 miles east of Greenville on the Pamlico River.

Post by Hunter Pridgen.

More storms were expected overnight Sunday, including hail and severe thunderstorms.