The most violent severe storm outbreak of the season first erupted in the early hours of Sunday, April 27, 2014, igniting thunderstorms, inducing flash flooding and spawning deadly tornadoes across much of the South and Midwest. Roaring on through Thursday, the storms will span more than 20 states by the time they diminish, leaving a trail of extensive devastation.
Day 1: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Sparking by Sunday morning, the powerful storm system responsible for the recent outbreak fired across Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Iowa, dropping multiple deadly twisters. Leveling homes and businesses and leaving thousands in the dark, these large tornadoes killed at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The strongest of Sunday's tornadoes, preliminarily rated as an EF3, barreled through Mayflower, Ark., destroying almost everything in its nearly 30-mile path.
Day 2: Monday, April 28, 2014
As the slow-moving, expansive storm system persisted, numerous roadways became impassable in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, stranding countless people.
Over the course of the day, strong thunderstorms boomed across the South, generating golf ball-sized hail, high winds and more tornadoes in the region. The areas hit hardest included Tupelo, Jackson and Louisville, Miss., and Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala., raising the death toll to 28 between both Sunday and Monday. The twister in Jackson was deemed the most fierce of the bunch and given a preliminary rating of EF4.
Day 3: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Crawling steadily towards the East Coast, states of emergency were declared for all counties in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, as well as four counties in North Carolina. Cutting power to more than 100,000 across Alabama, the thunderstorms dropped tornadoes in parts of North Carolina, including Fayetteville. At the end of the day Tuesday, the outbreak death toll climbed to 35.
Aside from tornadoes, the storm system dumped significant rain across the Southeast causing fatal flooding in the Florida Panhandle and impeding travel around Mobile, Ala., as roadways became immersed in flood waters.
Day 4: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tracking even farther east, storms antagonized areas from Florida up to Maryland, triggering vast flooding across the region. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 15 inches of rain fell on the Gulf Shores, Ala., closing the historic I-10 highway, and in three hours more than 7 inches left Pensacola homes and roadways inundated with flood waters. The Wednesday rain total in Pensacola reached 11.13 inches, shattering the city's 1918 daily rain record of 3.06 inches.
In Maryland and Kentucky, rain waters overwhelmed bridges and highways, resulting in substantial closures and travel delays.