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PHOTOS: Deadly Severe Storm Outbreak Spans Five Days, 20 States

By Kristen Rodman, Staff Writer
May 1, 2014; 5:02 AM ET
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The most violent severe storm outbreak of the season first erupted in the early hours of Sunday, April 27, 2014, igniting thunderstorms, inducing flash flooding and spawning deadly tornadoes across much of the South and Midwest. Roaring on through Thursday, the storms will span more than 20 states by the time they diminish, leaving a trail of extensive devastation.

Day 1: Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sparking by Sunday morning, the powerful storm system responsible for the recent outbreak fired across Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Iowa, dropping multiple deadly twisters. Leveling homes and businesses and leaving thousands in the dark, these large tornadoes killed at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The strongest of Sunday's tornadoes, preliminarily rated as an EF3, barreled through Mayflower, Arkansas, destroying almost everything in its nearly 30-mile path.

Debris scattered on the ground in Mayflower, Ark., following a fierce tornado that blew through the town on Sunday, April 27, 2014. (Photo/Justin Lewis)

Day 2: Monday, April 28, 2014

As the slow-moving, expansive storm system persisted, numerous roadways became impassable in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, stranding countless people.

A tree is blown over in Tuscaloosa, Ala., as life-threatening storms hit the area on Monday, April 28, 2014. (Photo/ Jaymie Herndon)

Over the course of the day, strong thunderstorms boomed across the South, generating golf ball-sized hail, high winds and more tornadoes in the region. The areas hit hardest included Tupelo, Jackson and Louisville, Mississippi, and Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama, raising the death toll to 28 between both Sunday and Monday. The twister in Jackson was deemed the most fierce of the bunch and given a preliminary rating of EF4.

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What remains of the Steak Escape restaurant that sits in front of the Sleep Inn on North Gloster Street in Tupelo, Miss., after a tornado touched down on Monday, April 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Day 3: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crawling steadily towards the East Coast, states of emergency were declared for all counties in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, as well as four counties in North Carolina. Cutting power to more than 100,000 across Alabama, the thunderstorms dropped tornadoes in parts of North Carolina, including Fayetteville. At the end of the day Tuesday, the outbreak death toll climbed to 35.

An uprooted tree tears up a roadway in the Adamsville/Shady Grove area in Alabama, after severe storms rolled through the area on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (Photo/Kirsten Click)

Aside from tornadoes, the storm system dumped significant rain across the Southeast causing fatal flooding in the Florida Panhandle and impeding travel around Mobile, Alabama, as roadways became immersed in flood waters.

Desoto Falls roar in Mentone, Ala., causing massive flooding in the region on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (Photo/Gary Parker)

Day 4: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tracking even farther east, storms antagonized areas from Florida up to Maryland, triggering vast flooding across the region. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 15 inches of rain fell on the Gulf Shores, Alabama, closing the historic I-10 highway, and in three hours more than 7 inches left Pensacola homes and roadways inundated with flood waters. The Wednesday rain total in Pensacola reached 11.13 inches, shattering the city's 1918 daily rain record of 3.06 inches.

Afloat in a kayak, a child sits in her Gulf Breeze, Fla., home as flood waters inundate the property as severe storms dump significant rain on parts of the state on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Photo/Abby Burton)

In Maryland and Kentucky, rain waters overwhelmed bridges and highways, resulting in substantial closures and travel delays.

Following heavy rainfall in Pensacola, Fla., a road collapses at 20th Street and Lloyd Street on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Twitter Photo/@Goodcleanliving)

Day 5: Thursday, May 1, 2014

As the storm system spreads a swath of rain up the East Coast, a massive landslide in Baltimore downed cars along a residential neighborhood street late Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Cars sit on the edge of a landslide in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. (AP Photo)

Farther north, Philadelphia recieved nearly 5 inches of rain by early Thursday morning, creating major flooding across the region. The Schuylkill River in the area experienced flooding as well, making many roadways in the area impassable.

Apartments in Valley Forge, Pa., are immersed in flood waters after a storm system brought heavy rainfall to the Philadelphia area on Thursday, May 1, 2014. (Photo/Lauren-Kae Whetzel)

Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kristen Rodman at, follow her on Twitter @Accu_Kristen or Google+. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.


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