Posted by Zia Shah
By Ed Payne, Joe Sutton and Devon Sayers
Mayflower, Arkansas (CNN) — A brutal band of severe weather battered the central Plains and mid-South late Sunday, killing at least 16 people in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma.
Some of the worst damage was north of Little Rock, Arkansas, where reported tornadoes devastated the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.
“It’s chaos here,” said Vilonia Mayor James Firestone. “Our downtown area seems like it’s completely leveled.”
The nightmare is all too familiar for the community of about 3,800 people. Another storm ransacked the town almost three years ago to the day and followed essentially the same path, the mayor said.
“There’s a few buildings partially standing, but the amount of damage is tremendous,” Firestone said Sunday. “There’s gas lines spewing. Of course, power lines down. Houses are just a pile of brick.”