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Fierce storms spawned deadly tornadoes across the south and central U.S. on Sunday, leaving at least 16 dead in Arkansas and weaving a long trail of debris.

Sheriff Andy Shock of Faulkner County, Ark., said at least ten people in the county were killed, KTHV-TV in Little Rock reported. "It's just devastating," Shock said, adding that he expects the number to rise.

Brandon Morris with the state Department of Emergency Management said one person is confirmed dead in White County, Ark., the television station reported. The twister carved a 30-mile trail of damage, and tens of thousands in central Arkansas were without power.

Lt. Carl Minden with Pulaski County Sheriff's Office told KHTV three people died along the 4000 block of Deer Drive in Pulaski County; several other people were transported to an area hospital. Two additional deaths in Pulaski county were reported by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Hours before the Arkansas tornado struck, a twister hit the small northeastern Oklahoma town of Quapaw, killing one person, according to Ottawa County sheriff dispatcher Kelli Soechs.

After hitting Quapaw, the tornado moved north to Kansas and hit Baxter Springs about 5 miles away. Cherokee County, Kan., sheriff's dispatcher Josh Harvey said the tornado injured several people.

Another tornado landed in central Nebraska and the Weather Channel cited reports of tornadoes in Iowa.

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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