At least 35 people have now been confirmed dead after a massive storm system spawned numerous tornadoes throughout the central and southeastern United States this week, leaving hundreds of communities destroyed across more than six states.
Many of those killed in Tuesday's outbreak of strong thunderstorms and massive tornadoes lived in the small industrial town of Louisville, Mississippi. Penny Bowman was one of many residents of Louisville who scrambled for shelter as the storms flattened scores of homes and other buildings. "It sounded like, my husband heard it, all I was doing was praying. But it wound up, all the trees hitting the house. It lasted about 30 seconds and it was gone," she explained. "But then all the sirens in town were still going off. Tornadoes were still coming toward this area. I understand there were about three that went through our town."
The storm system caused similar scenes of destruction as it moved east through the neighboring states of Alabama and Tennessee, leaving thousands of people homeless or without power.
Meanwhile, recovery efforts have begun in the central state of Arkansas, where 15 people were killed on Sunday, the first day of the outbreak of the storms. Volunteers from across the state rushed to the town of Mayflower, one of the worst hit areas of Sunday's outbreak.
"You know, the people of Arkansas are the ones that, you know, we're concerned with. And, we appreciate everybody bringing water and supplies and feeding us, and the Red Cross was nice and came out. But we understand there is a lot of people still missing and that's what we're concerned with right now," said resident John Ward.
The storm system struck Arkansas on the third anniversary of one of the worst tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, which killed more than 300 people and included nearly 122 reported tornadoes across the southeastern United States.