Note from May 8: This story has been debunked. The truck was NOT carried 27 miles by a tornado as reported below. The new story about this incident is here:
A truck was reportedly carried 27 miles by a tornado Sunday night in Arkansas, according to meteorologist Darby Bybee of KHBS-TV in Fort Smith.
Bybee reported that the truck was carried from Mayflower, Ark., to near Vilonia, Ark., a distance of about 27 miles. A report from the National Weather Service in Little Rock notes that an EF4 tornado — with winds of at least 180 mph — traveled 41 miles on a path that included both Mayflower and Vilonia.
The tornado killed 15 people.
Many cars were tossed around and destroyed, some mangled beyond recognition, Bybee said. He said it can be difficult to make an insurance claim on a car that can’t be found or identified.
Long-distance transport of large objects in tornadoes has been reported before, though Randy Cerveny, a geography professor at Arizona State University, said, “I haven’t heard of trucks being thrown that far.”
In 1877, a tornado in Illinois reportedly carried “the spire, vane and guilded ball of a Methodist church” 15 miles, according to his book Freaks of the Storm.
“A 1966 Mississippi tornado reportedly lifted a mother and her 2-year-old daughter in the family Volkswagen into the air and carried it 70 feet through the air,” he added. “Finally, the tornado dropped the small car on the top of the local electrical company building.
“Amazingly, the Volkswagen sustained only a couple of dents in the hood and miraculously neither the mother nor her daughter was injured,” he wrote.
The world record for the object carried farthest by a tornado: A personal check was carried 223 miles on April 11, 1991, from Stockton, Kan., to Winnetoon, Neb.
World weather records are kept in the World Meteorological Organization’s Weather and Climate Extremes archive, Cerveny said.