At a little before 7:30, on the evening of April 27, 2014, Helen Greer looks out through the screened-in back porch toward the river. "Don," she says, "don't you think you should come look at this?
Her husband of forty-one years appears at her side and looks to the south. From this spot at the northern edge of the small River Plantation subdivision, near Mayflower, Arkansas, he can see the homes of his neighbors and beyond, the cone of Pinnacle Mountain rising above the pine and hickory woods along the banks of the Arkansas River. It is the way the clouds are moving that is upsetting Helen. She asks Don, "Don't you think we should go to the safe room?" Don squints at the sky above the treetops and the low ridgeline and sees no reason for panic. "Just a bunch of clouds moving around out there," he says. The wind moans and the trees in the yard toss. It happens a lot this time of year.
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