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Deadly Tornadoes Kill at Least 16, Leveling Parts of Vilonia and Mayflower, Ark. [VIDEO]

Apr 28, 2014 10:20 AM EDT
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UPDATE: Initial reports in the aftermath of the storm cited 16 deaths in Arkansas, but that was later revised to 14 after authorities realized they miscounted, Reuters reported. 

Deadly tornadoes ripped through parts of the South and Midwestern United States on Sunday, killing at least 16 people in three states, as the region prepares for another round of severe storms Monday.

In hard-hit Central Arkansas, at least 14 people died in a tornado system that churned across Pulaski and Faulkner counties, leveling homes in the communities of Vilonia and Mayflower, within an hour's drive from the capital Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Vilonia Mayor James Firestone said his city's downtown area appears to be destroyed, according to CNN.

"It's chaos here," he said. "Our downtown area seems like it's completely leveled."

"There's a few buildings partially standing, but the amount of damage is tremendous," Firestone said. "There's gas lines spewing. Of course, power lines down. Houses are just a pile of brick."

Nearly three years ago to the day, an EF2 tornado hit the community of 4,100, running along virtually the same path, Firestone told ABC News.

"This storm was much stronger," the mayor said. "The devastation was just tremendous as far as the damage that it did. ... Now houses are reduced to just piles of rubble."

Tornadoes also touched down in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, according to media reports.

Two other storm-related deaths were reported in Oklahoma and Iowa, CNN reported.

The strong storm system continues to churn Monday, with early morning tornado alerts in place aross the Midwest and South.

According to The Weather Channel, among 209 reports of severe weather, at least 30 individual tornadoes were reported between 7 a.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday.

A tornado watch is still in effect in parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and eastern Arkansas until 10 a.m. CST. Severe weather is expected to continue through Monday, with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes expected, according to TWC.

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