Drone Captures Tornado Devastation in Mayflower, Ark.

By Kristen Rodman, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
April 30, 2014; 5:00 AM ET
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In the wake of the worst severe weather outbreak so far this season, a drone captured aerial footage of the devastation following the deadly Mayflower tornado which struck Arkansas on Sunday night, April 27, 2014.

On Sunday night, multiple tornadoes spawned from violent thunderstorms tracking from Texas up through Iowa, with the worst of the storms centered around Arkansas.

"One supercell thunderstorm was on the ground for over 100 miles in Arkansas, but the NWS says it spawned at least two large tornadoes along its path," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell said.

A drone captured an aerial view of the devastation following the deadly Mayflower tornado in Arkansas on Sunday, April 27, 2014. (Video/Brian Emfinger)

Prior to the tornado striking Mayflower, one of the hardest hit areas in Arkansas, a "particularly dangerous situation" was issued.

The same tornado-producing storm struck numerous counties in Arkansas Sunday night, resulting in at least 14 deaths throughout the state.

With numerous buildings and houses leveled, search-and-rescue efforts will continue through Monday, but the death toll is expected to rise.

Weekend Tornadoes Claim Lives in Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma
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Tornado Debris Balls and Aerial Drone Damage Videos

As the use of drones becomes more popular, the airborne devices may actually aid emergency response teams in the wake of a disaster.

"This kind of footage helps get out the word out about the tornado destruction in a compelling way that hopefully increases awareness of the disaster, ultimately leading to more donations to those in need," Ferrell said. "When coordinated and shared with emergency personnel, this type of video could even help in a search-and-rescue situation and could help the efficiency of National Weather Service storm surveys."

While no storm ratings for the twister have been released yet, prior to the storm the United States had not had a tornado rated EF3 or higher since Nov. 17, 2013, according to the Associated Press.

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


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