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Tornado Devastates Mayflower, Arkansas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The town of Mayflower, Arkansas, was among the communities hardest hit by powerful tornadoes that plowed through the Plains and South on Sunday, April 27. Above, watch shocking aerial footage of the damage in Mayflower.

At least 18 people are dead in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa — at least 16 of those in Arkansas.

Here’s what we know about Mayflower and the devastation it has suffered.


1. 10 Are Dead in Faulkner County; Mayflower & Vilonia Were Hardest Hit

More than 30 tornadoes touched down across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, but the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia in Arkansas’ Faulkner County felt the brunt of the storm’s wrath.

The death toll in Faulker County is at least 10, according to NBC.

Mayflower’s population was just over 1,600 as measured by the 2000 Census. Vilonia’s population was just over 3,800 as measured by the 2010 Census.

Mayflower is located about 10 miles west of Little Rock, the state capital.


2. The Devastation Is Breathtaking

Images emerging from Mayflower show leveled homes, cars and 18-wheelers reduced to twisted hunks of metal, and residents struggling to cope with shock.

In what is described as a “war zone,” residents whose homes managed to escape destruction are ordered to boil their water before consuming it, reports THV11.

The local high school and middle school are being used as shelters for those displaced. Some 60 homes in the Mayflower Plantation subdivision alone have been severely damaged.

Authorities established a perimeter around the town to limit incoming traffic.

3. The Tornado Was a Half-Mile Wide

The Weather Channel reports that the tornado that plowed through Mayflower and Vilonia reached a width of one-half mile:

The tornado touched down Sunday about 10 miles west of Little Rock at around 7 p.m., then carved an 80-mile path of destruction as it passed through or near several suburbs north of the state capital, including Vilonia. It grew to be a half-mile wide and remained on the ground for much of that route, authorities said.


4. Interstate 40 Was Strewn With Overturned & Mangled Vehicles

I-40, a major east-west artery in the area, was crowded with evening traffic when the tornado struck around 7 p.m. local time.

Cars and even big rigs were toppled and tossed. Billboards were shredded.

And today, traffic remains snarled by the aftermath.


5. Here’s How You Can Help

mayflower donations

For anyone looking to make a monetary donation, or for those in the area looking to volunteer, Kim Herrington at TheMadeThing has compiled a lengthly list of organizations accepting donations and volunteers.

Mayflower, Arkansas Tornado: The Photos You Need to See

Mayflower, a central Arkansas city, was hit by a major tornado that destroyed homes, businesses, and lives. Check out the most tragic pictures of the disaster.

Click here to read more

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