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WATCHING THE TROPICS

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Powerful Thunderstorms and tornadoes across the midwest leave at least 17 dead

MIDWEST  --  (ABC)  At least 17 people were killed by a line of powerful thunderstorms that tore through the southern US sparking deadly tornadoes.

At least 16 of the victims are in Arkansas.
Authorities are now investigating a 30 mile trail of destruction that may have been caused by a single, massive twister.
 
Chris Cane is in Little Rock with a look at what happened.
This is the scene Arkansas residents woke up to this morning in one suburban Little Rock neighborhood.
 
Homes reduced to rubble cars twisted and bent 56 structures in this subdivision alone, all gone.

As I was driving back I saw nothing but black  it was huge I saw the rotation
This bird's eye view captured the twister's 80-mile path as it was heading east . You can see a path of destruction carved in the middle of this community one home after another, obliterated. Eyewitnesses say it only took seconds for the tornado to flatten their homes.

Judy Garrett and her husband rode out the storm in a safe room.
"We opened the door we couldn't get out because there was debris everything we lost everything.."

This home video shows a funnel cloud crossing interstate I-40, trapping drivers in their cars.

"We need help someone's stuck!!"
 In Vilonia, Arkansas rescue crews are going door-to-door this afternoon, searching for survivors..

"It is a slow process because we've got people and dogs going through the rubble  and trying to find whoever we can and whatever we can.."

"Look at the top of it. Turn around it's coming at us"
As the sun set on Sunday tornadoes began ripping across Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri

James and Michelle Laidler recorded their narrow escape on their cell phone
" Ahhh!! Jim!! It's coming right at us Jim!!"

The severe weather is not over. There are still tornado watches out today.
Forecasters say there is a new threat later this afternoon when the storm front moves into Alabama and Mississippi.

Chris Kane, ABC News, Little Rock.