New Round of Twisters Menace Southern States


From Michigan to Virginia, more than 75 million Americans face the threat of severe weather Tuesday night. The brutal storm system has unleashed devastating tornadoes, killing nearly 30 people in two days.

Overnight, more deadly tornadoes swept through the South, with the hardest hit states being Mississippi and Arkansas.

In the Magnolia State, one twister struck downtown Tupelo, leaving destruction in its wake.

"I was in the back yard watching the weather, seen the funnel clouds, everything else just hitting the fan more or less, you know what I'm saying,"  Tulepo, Mississippi, resident Randy Page said.

***AccuWeather's Molly Cochran talked more about where the most severe weather will be seen Tuesday night and Wednesday on CBN Newswatch, April 29.

Resident Mario Armon, recalled, "We were sitting there getting ready for dinner, and the lights started going off and then I started hearing that train, that train sound everybody's talking about."

"To see trees twisted and snapped like what they are now, it's nothing I've ever seen in my life, nothing I ever want to see again," Tulepo, Mississippi, resident Keith Ruff.

CBN's Operation Blessing is sending disaster relief teams to Mississippi to help with recovery efforts.

The relief workers will be there ministering to spiritual needs with the love of Christ.

They'll also help meet practical needs in the cleanup effort. The group is taking two construction trailers full of tools and cleanup supplies, as well as at least one skid-steer and a mobile command center.

To find out how you can help, visit Operation Blessing's website.

Northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas, a massive tornado devastated the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.

"This is where I grew up," Mayflower, Arkansas, resident Brandi Bensen said. "All of these houses are my family's houses and they are gone."

"I feel sorry for the people who lost their lives," Sally Robinson of Paron, Arkansas, said. "I feel very sorry for my neighbors. It breaks my heart. Their house is completely gone."

Authorities say the death toll could have been worse if people had not taken shelter after listening to forecasts and getting cell-phone alerts.

"We got alerts 20 minutes before it happened that we needed to do something, but being stubborn and bull-headed, I didn't react until five minutes before it happened," Mayflower resident Tim Lee said.

Lee was huddled in his home with his family when he realized the front door was open. As he went to close it, he witnessed the powerful tornado that would carve out an 80-mile path of destruction through suburban Little Rock.

"You just saw nothing but chaos, stuff being thrown across the yard, just wild," Lee recalled. "And I locked the door, ran back to the bathroom and then it was like a roaring freight train for 20 or 30 seconds and then after that it was calm."

In nearby Vilonia, the tornado ripped the bell from a local Methodist church and tossed it 75 yards away.

"Cement steel girder encrusted in cement....completely ripped out of the ground and twisted," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said.

Meanwhile, forecasters say the violent thunderstorms and tornadoes aren't over yet. They're expected to threaten millions of lives in many central, southern and mid-Atlantic states between now and Thursday.

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