Large, Long-Tracking Tornadoes Kill 17 in Arkansas, Oklahoma

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
April 30, 2014; 7:49 PM ET
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The massive Mayflower, Ark., tornado was caught on tape on Sunday, April 27, 2014. (YouTube/Cotton Rohrscheib)

Large and destructive tornadoes leveled towns and killed 17 people across portions of Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

Mayflower, Ark., was one of the hardest-hit areas on Sunday as a deadly tornado touched down, stripping trees and destroying homes. The tornado was on the ground for 29.2 miles, with a preliminary rating of EF3 by the National Weather Service damage survey crews.

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Another deadly tornado touched down in the small northeastern Oklahoma town of Quapaw. The same storm clobbered Baxter Springs, Kan., where more than two dozen people were injured by a tornado. As many as 100 homes and businesses were destroyed, Kansas officials said.

"On Sunday, we had a surge of warm, moist air coincide with the arrival of a strong jet stream. Heating of the day then added fuel for the storms that had already developed Saturday night and allowed new storms to ignite," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

This round of severe weather followed close on the heels of storms that wreaked havoc across portions of the South late last week. An 11-month-old boy died Sunday after suffering injuries from a tornado that struck Chowan County, N.C., on Friday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said.

More than 325 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed by the storms in Beaufort, Perquimans, Chowan, Pasquotank and Greene counties, the governor said.

Beaufort County took the brunt of the damage with 197 structures either destroyed or damaged, primarily in the Chocowinity and Whichards Beach area. Four historic structures were damaged in Edenton.

Content contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans.

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