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    Tornado Threat Continues Overnight: Texas to Tennessee

    By By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
    April 27, 2011, 4:23:27 AM EDT

    Yet another nasty tornado outbreak is under way across the south-central U.S., with tornadoes touching down in Arkansas, northern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma this afternoon and evening.

    Multiple tornadoes, including one large twister, reportedly touched down in the Little Rock, Ark., area between 7 and 8 p.m. CDT, mainly north of the city. According to KATV, extensive damage has been reported with a large tornado in Vilonia, which is north of Little Rock, with a number of homes destroyed.

    Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has reportedly issued a state of emergency due to the tornadoes and flash flooding.

    This remains a a particularly dangerous situation with a risk of large, long-track tornadoes, especially from eastern Texas and northwestern Louisiana into Arkansas, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee and western Kentucky into the overnight hours.

    Thunderstorms will also be capable of producing hail larger than golf balls, damaging winds that can down trees, power lines and cause property damage and flooding downpours.

    In addition to Little Rock and Memphis, cities such as Paducah, Ky., Carbondale, Ill., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Batesville, Miss., and Shreveport, La., are included in the greatest risk zone tonight.

    As AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski pointed out, another major tornado outbreak is expected to erupt in many of these same areas late Tuesday into Tuesday night. Little Rock will be at risk again as well.

    People in the path of these thunderstorms need to seek safe shelter immediately if a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning is issued. The safest place to be during a tornado is in the most interior room of the lowest level of a sturdy building. Mobile homes are not safe.


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    Elsewhere in the Little Rock area, a tornado was spotted on Highway 89 east of Mayflower this evening with debris reportedly blocking the highway. According to Arkansas Online, other tornado damage has included a church in Maumelle and cars blown off the road between Morgan and Mayflower.

    Tornadoes have also been spotted near Big Fork, Ark., Broken Bow, Okla., and Stephenville, Chalk Mountain, Cleburne, Itasca, Avalon, Fairfield, Oakwood and Troup, Texas. In Broken Bow, trees were reportedly downed onto roads and homes with widespread power outages resulting.

    Flash flooding has also been a major problem. Some places have picked up nearly 10 inches of rain over the past few days with flooding already under way.

    Many weather-related deaths happen when people attempt to cross a flooded roadway and get swept away. Never attempt to cross a flooded roadway; always turn around and find an alternate route.

    Isolated evere thunderstorms have also been erupting along and south of a frontal boundary stretching from central Missouri through northern Pennsylvania with large hail and wind damage reported.

    A few tornadoes were also sighted in western Tennessee with some of these thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon.

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