MAYFLOWER, Ark. (AP) -- A broad tornado sliced through Little Rock's suburbs Sunday, killing eight people and leaving behind a miles-long path of destruction as a powerful system rumbling off the Plains provided a violent kick-start to the nation's tornado season.

The scene was the same in town after town, with emergency workers and volunteers going door-to-door to check for victims. State troopers performed the same task among the damaged and toppled 18-wheelers, cars and trucks on a two-mile stretch of Interstate 40, a major thoroughfare in and out of Arkansas' capital city.

"It turned pitch black," said Mark Ausbrooks, who was at his parents' home in Mayflower when the storm arrived. "I ran and got pillows to put over our heads and ... all hell broke loose."

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