State’s killer tornado rated an EF4

Winds close to 200 mph near Vilonia

Posted: May 1, 2014 at 4:56 a.m.

Josh Hunt and his sister-in-law Jessica Hunt embrace Wednesday in the ruin of her home on Dam Road in Mayflower. They recounted escaping from a fire that sent flames and smoke into the 3-by-12 space where they and 14 relatives and neighbors were weathering Sunday’s tornado.

The tornado that struck central Arkansas on Sunday, killing 15 people and splintering homes, ripped through Vilonia and Mayflower as an EF4 with winds of nearly 200 mph, National Weather Service officials said Wednesday.

Path of the April 27 tornado

Mayflower residents work to recover from devastating tornado

Two Mayflower residents describe surviving Sunday's tornado while their homes were destroyed around them. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Front Section, Pages 1 on 05/01/2014