Tornadoes hit several states

(CNN) — Tornadoes touched down in several states Sunday evening as severe weather slammed into parts of the central United States.

An extremely large and violent tornado is moving across central Arkansas, north of Little Rock, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

Interstate 40 was shut down as authorities removed debris from the highway after a tornado struck Mayflower, Arkansas, said Arkansas State Patrol spokesman Bill Sadler.

Witnesses also spotted a twister in the Oklahoma town of Quapaw on Sunday, an emergency official said, as severe weather slammed into parts of the central United States.

Joe Dan Morgan, emergency manager in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, said ambulances had deployed after reports of a funnel on the ground in Quapaw, and rescuers were working in an area where a concrete wall crashed onto a car.

Numerous buildings in the town were damaged, said Keli Cain with Oklahoma Emergency Management.

Kelly Flecks, an emergency dispatcher in Ottawa County, also said a tornado hit the town.

“Search and rescue is underway involving several agencies,” she said. “Please tell the public to stay away so they can do their jobs. We can’t confirm anything else at the moment.

Quapaw is in the northeastern part of the state, near the borders with Kansas and Missouri.

Also Sunday evening, a tornado emergency was declared for Maumelle, Arkansas, the National Weather Service said. Maumelle is just northwest of Little Rock in central Arkansas.

Storm spotters were tracking a confirmed tornado with reports of damage, the Weather Service said. A tornado emergency is issued when a storm is producing a life-threatening, confirmed tornado capable of significant destruction.

Storm chasers and witnesses posted images of twisters in several states on social media.

Mike Smith from TeamBCX shared a picture of white funnel spinning against a dark sky near a field in Baxter Springs, Kansas, where there were several reports of damage from a tornado Sunday.

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Matthew Stucker and Sean Morris contributed to this report.

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