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Tornadoes, Severe Storms Claim Lives Across Midwest

More than a dozen people died in Sunday's storms, which were widely forecasted to cause severe weather. The worst damage is near Little Rock, Ark.
Posted at 9:45 AM, Apr 28, 2014

Severe weather and tornadoes across the southern Midwest claimed more than a dozen lives Sunday night, and reporters on the ground in Arkansas Monday morning said rescue crews were still searching the wreckage for survivors.

EMERGENCY RESPONDER: "We're going from house to house marking and searching what we can."

EMERGENCY RESPONDER: "If you're in here, make a noise!"

DAWN SCOTT, KTHV REPORTER: "The latest numbers right now according to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management: There are 16 people in our state dead."

While there was one more confirmed death in Oklahoma and Fox News reported another in Iowa, the worst of the damage seemed to be north of Little Rock, Ark., in the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.

CNN noted the mayor of Vilonia, James Firestone, called the situation in his town "chaos" with gas lines still spewing and causing additional risks of fire in damaged areas.

The Weather Channel reports the tornado struck the Little Rock suburbs just before sundown Sunday night, which would've made any efforts to navigate debris or find people who might be trapped all that more difficult.

CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Let me tell you, it is still a rescue mission right now. This has nothing to do with recovery. They do believe that there are still people alive in some of these cars and some of these smashed vehicles along the highway."

Sunday's forecast was widely expected to produce severe weather with warm temperatures feeding storms as they moved across the Midwest, which had both local stations on alert and major networks sending crews to areas in the path of the huge storm front. (Via KARK)

Well-known stormchaser Reed Timmer posted this update to Twitter overnight near Mayflower noting the tornado that hit the area was a wedge, which explained why the path of damage was so wide. (Via Twitter / @reedtimmerTVN)

The late weekend storms appear to simply be the start of a trend this week.

A tornado warning was issued Monday morning near Memphis with severe weather expected and again set up to possibly produce tornadoes across the Southeast through Wednesday. (Via NBC)