Tornadoes fuelled by unusually warm winter air have sliced through parts of the southern and midwestern United States, killing at least six people.
Dozens more people were left injured and power to thousands of homes and businesses has been lost after the storms.
Three people died in Cincinnati, a northwestern Arkansas hamlet of about 100 residents located three miles from the Oklahoma border. A sheriff's dispatcher said there were "lots of injuries" after the twister touched down just before sunrise.
Tornadoes were also reported near St. Louis, and three people are reported dead in a violent storm in south-central Missouri.
"It sucked me out of my house and carried me across the road and dropped me," Chris Sizemore of Cincinnati said. "I was Superman for a while. ... You're just free-floating through the air. Trees are knocking you and smacking you down."
Mr Sizemore said he tried to crawl under his bed and cling to the carpet as the winds shook a pecan tree standing over the house.
He said he opened his eyes as he flew, believing he wouldn't see 2011.
"I wanted to see the end coming. You're only going to see it one time and I thought that was it," he said. "It takes more than a tornado to get me."
Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said the tornado killed Gerald Wilson, 88, and his wife, Mamie, 78, in their home. Dick Murray, 78, died, too, in the small town. The sheriff said Murray was milking cows when the tornado hit.
Phelps County Emergency Management Director Sandy North says the woman was killed Friday morning when her home about a mile north of Rolla was destroyed by the storm. North says six others were injured in the county, including one critically. She says about 20 homes have been destroyed or seriously damaged.