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    Posted April 29, 2014 by
    wxman93
    Location
    May Flower, Arkansas
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Severe weather

    Extreme Arkansas Tornado Damage

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     wxman93, a meteorology student at the University of Oklahoma, took these photos and video on Interstate 40 in Mayflower, Arkansas, 10 minutes after a powerful tornado hit the town.

    "Seeing the aftermath was just surreal," he said. "We knew it was [an] extremely powerful tornado because the trees lost all their bark and were snapped in half."
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    This was the scene across much of the central plains states, as violent tornadoes impacted the states of Missouri and Arkansas.  I am a broadcast meteorology major at the University of Oklahoma. I was out storm chasing this Sunday, and made it to the May Flower storm just in time to see the damage of the deadly tornado. We had been watching the storm on radar, and it was showing significant rotation but still no tornado warning. That was one thing that surprised me is how long it took the national weather service to issue the warning. I am not insulting them, i am simply making an observation. Of course when we stop to get gas in May Flower they issue the tornado warning. We were luckily able to get out of there quickly, however we went back through the area on I-40 and got stuck in traffic right where the tornado passed. I got some picture of damage, and then went to help those impacted until emergency responders showed up on scene. One great picture i captured was of people helping pull rubble from a damaged building to get someone. I was on scene literately minutes after the tornado cross the highway. The entire area smelled of propane and moist wood. It was just such an extreme, and surreal scene to be there in person. I spoke with one man who was in the tornado, He was on interstate 40 and the tornado threw his truck across the highway. He said he flipped four times before finally coming to a stop.

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