On Sunday, tornadoes ripped through the south-central United States, damaging homes, leveling entire neighborhoods and killing at least 18 people across three states.
But the tornadoes, which hit in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, are far from over, according to meteorologists.
Forecasters warned that tens of millions of people — from Iowa to the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas — were still in the path of a days-long storm system.
“The worst is not over,” said Kevin Roth, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.
Residents throughout the region are picking up the pieces of their homes, searching for missing loved ones, and preparing for the next rash of storms. In Faulkner County, Ark., the hardest hit on Sunday, authorities estimate that at least 150 homes were destroyed. Ten people died there, including two children.
“What I’m seeing is something that I cannot describe in words,” Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock told NBC News early Monday. “It is utter and sheer devastation.”
In all, 30 tornadoes were recorded.
The National Weather Service said that it expected the storms in Arkansas to be rated the strongest in the country this year, perhaps as strong as EF-3 on the weather service’s tornado scale. EF-3 twisters pack wind of at least 136 mph.
For Monday, the threat zone for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes covered a swath of the Ohio Valley, the Great Plains and the South, including the cities of Cincinnati, St. Louis, New Orleans, Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn.
The area of greatest concern for tornadoes covered parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and, once again, Arkansas. Little Rock was among the cities covered by a tornado watch until 1 p.m. ET.
Our prayers are with those who lost loved ones in this tragic weather phenomenon. For more information on the storm’s path this week, click here.
SOURCE: NBC, Weather Channel | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.
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