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Survey Teams Assessing Size and Strength of Faulkner County Twister

MAYFLOWER, Ark. - Survey teams from the National Weather Service office in Little Rock are tracking the path of Sunday's killer tornado.
MAYFLOWER, Ark. - Survey teams from the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Little Rock are tracking the path of Sunday's killer tornado.

NWS forecaster John Robinson says two teams will start at Mayflower, with one going southwest from there and the other going northeast.

He says it's very unlikely that the teams will complete the entire track(s) today. If that's the case, then there would not be a determination today as to the EF rating.

On Sunday night, the NWS sent out a storm report saying there were two houses with only the slab remaining, so there has been speculation that the tornado may have been EF5, Robinson says. The Enhanced Fujita Scale says "Destruction of engineered and/or well constructed residence; slab swept clean."

He says most houses are not going to meet the criteria for engineered or well-constructed.

"Wind engineers have told us that a house that does not have its walls connected to its foundation can be swept off the foundation with winds as low as 100-110 mph. So, an empty slab does not guarantee a high rating," Robinson says.

The last tornado to strike the area touched down in Vilonia on April 25, 2011. It was rated EF2.

 Governor Mike Beebe held a press conference in Mayflower to address the devastation of Sunday night's storm.

As far as the tornado's path, Beebe says it was reported north of Vilonia and headed northeast.

Beebe spoke of the devastation the tornado has had on Arkansans. It is especially devastating for the people who have lost property and loved ones. The Governor said he wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the highest category tornadoes. It is too early to estimate the total amount of damage according to Beebe.

Beebe spoke highly of county and city officials saying they have done a great job in their search and rescue efforts.

President Obama has called Beebe along with the Director of Homeland Security to express their condolences for those lost in the tornadoes.

There have been 16 confirmed deaths. There is not a count on injuries or missing persons. A Conway hospital reported treating at least 100 storm victims.

According to the Governor numerous companies are helping with the relief efforts. Tyson started up mobile kitchens to help both emergency workers and victims. Walmart is sending out water and other materials to help with the relief effort. And cell phone companies are also setting up temporary towers to help with service.

Beebe also mentioned that although there is severe damage in Mayflower and Vilonia there is also damage in between the two locations.

Many people are concerned about getting to their homes where they may have loved ones or pets.

Beebe said those who have legitimate reasons to enter the area should be allowed through.


(*Attached video from KARK drone camera over Vilonia)

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