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Half-Mile Wide Tornado Carves Path Through Little Rock Suburbs

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MAYFLOWER (CBSDFW.COM) – For the second day in a row a batch of killer tornadoes has carved a path through the south. Fifteen people are now confirmed dead in Arkansas – 11 of them killed by a monster twister that wiped out two towns near Little Rock.

CBS 11 News has a crew on the ground in the devastated town of Mayflower; where there is so much damage city officials have a curfew in place until 7 a.m. Tuesday,

Some residents said they know looters were in the area Monday afternoon.

One location in Mayflower once held an RV and car lot. The cars, trucks and RV’s that are left are piled up and tangled.

Mayflower is the middle of a line of damage that extends for miles to the east and west, and at least a half-mile in either direction.

It was a landmark house on a hill up above Arkansas’ Lake Conway. Late Sunday, the Barbaratto family started getting worried messages from friends about the home during what had already been an overwhelming and emotional day.

An elder Barbaratto explained, “My son is being deployed with the military, so we were saying goodbye to him, and kissing on him and my grandchildren.”

Once heading back up the hill the family could see the devastation. The house they grew up in, spent holidays in, and celebrated in, was destroyed. The walls were gone. Trees ripped out the living room. Records and a stack of monopoly money were the only things still in their right place.

“My mother lived here so this was, every holiday was here… every holiday. Friends, family, you know.”

Crews were still trying to clear power lines off roads Monday night. Traffic backed up as cars maneuvered around debris.

Bobby Wilson made the trip from Little Rock to get to his RV. It was one of two that still sat upright, in what was once a full lot of vehicles.

“There was RV’s all the way around the other side,” Wilson recalled. “I expected it [his RV] to be gone, because everything else is gone.”

Wilson’s brother-in-law helped him salvage some clothing. He rode out the storm in an RV, just to the south of the tornado’s path. Splintered frames in the lot were evidence of what he escaped.

“We stayed in an RV and just prayed a lot and knew we would get out there and try to find a low place or just try to do the bet we knew how to do.”

Members of the National Guard are now blocking access to some neighborhoods around Mayflower and Lake Conway.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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