An RV dealership was destroyed as tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma Sunday night (April 27), killing at least 16 people.
The largest of the twisters, estimated at an EF3 or greater on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with wind gusts up to 160 mph, touched down Sunday evening about 10 miles west of Little Rock. It “carved an 80-mile path of destruction as it passed through or near several suburbs north of the state capital, including Vilonia,” The Associated Press reported. It grew to be a half-mile wide and remained on the ground for much of that route, authorities said.
On the east side of I-40 in Arkansas, the tornado’s strength was evident at Mayflower RV/Auto on Interstate Drive. The dealership was completely destroyed, with RVs tangled into a billboard and thrown into nearby woods and service bays reduced to piles of mangled rubble.
No one was injured there. An employee on the property surveying damage Monday morning said three people who stayed on the property — two in a mobile home and one in an RV — made it to a basement inside a building that was destroyed and escaped unhurt.
Mayflower RV also operates has Arkansas outlets in Sherwood and Van Buren.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) reported that the Red Cross and Salvation Army are directing relief efforts for the area.
Go to RedCross.org/arkansas or text “redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to disaster relief through your mobile carrier. Charges will apply to the following month’s cellphone bill.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org, by phone at (800) 725-2769), or by texting “STORM” to 80888 for a $10 donation. Checks made out to Arkansas tornado Relief may be mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 738, North Little Rock, AR 72115-0738.