April 30th, 2010
10:10 PM ET

Death toll lowered in Arkansas storms

The death toll from severe storms in northern Arkansas has been lowered to one person, emergency officials said early Saturday.

Officials had initially said three people had been killed when the storm and three possible tornadoes walloped Van Buren County on Friday.

The number of injuries in the county was also less than previously reported, said Rene Preslar, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

There were 10 people injured in the county instead of the 25 previously reported, Preslar said.

"We are still looking at a number of damages, but fortunately the human impact is lower than previously thought."

Twenty-three people were injured statewide, Preslar said.

Kenny Dunham, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said there were reports of severe damage in the west central part of the county, about 75 miles north of Little Rock.

Three homes have been destroyed in Shady Grove, Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for central and eastern Arkansas - along with parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, until 4 a.m. CT Saturday. In addition to tornadoes, the National Weather Service warned of hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter, thunderstorm wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and dangerous lighting.

Many roads in Van Buren County are blocked and authorities have closed some highways to prevent people from trying to access affected areas, Dunham said.

The storms prompted the Little Rock National Airport to cease operations Friday night, spokesman TJ Williams said.

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soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Paula

    Oh! And Zona? You have no CLUE what you're talking about! Yes, there are mobile homes here, but no more so than any other state. That is stereotyping of the worst kind. I assume you think we all go barefoot and don't have half our teeth too...would I be correct?

    Jo! You said you are between Jonesboro and Paragould...where? My mom is from Marmaduke and I still have lots of family there, in Paragould, and Corning!

    Someone mentioned Mabelvale....The difference in Mabelvale and East End, is litterally across the road in places! Our church is less than a mile from East End Intermediate school, yet we have a Mabelvale address. Mabelvale's postal service covers ALOT of territory up and down Chicot Road all the way to Mabelvale proper just off of I-30

    I'd also like to know where the police department is in East End...we are covered by the Saline County Sheriff's office. East End does not have (unless it's new in the last week) it's own police force.

    May 1, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Peggy

    Have family in Shannon Hills outside of Little Rock – praying they are safe tonight and praying for all those who have lost loved ones, who are injured or have lost their homes/posessions. Arkansas is a wonderful place and it makes me so sad to see how it keeps getting slammed with storms. God Bless you folks!

    May 1, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brian

    For those who want to know where Scotland arkansas is its a very small town of 200 or more people about 20 miles from clinton and about 75-80 west of Little Rock. I lived in the town for a few years a long time ago and have some family and friends that live there. The town has mostly a post office daycare and had a k-12th grade school that closed many years ago. Most of the people that live in scotland either live close to town or in the mountains or away from town and as far as i know scotland doesnt have storm sirens to warn anyone of bad weather and the ones who live in the mountains cant hear it. My thoughts and prayers are with scotland

    May 1, 2010 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Paula

    I have been on all four local news stations and can't confirm the story of the 13 year old being hit by lightning, although I too heard one of the stations say it on the air earlier.

    I am probably being a little silly-but after the night we've had...I'm almost scared to go to sleep with it still thundering and lightning the way it is! Hope someone else is up to talk to!

    May 1, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jami Johnston-Kimbrough

    Hang in there BALD KNOB – It will hopefully be over soon! God's Speed for my entire family there. Much love from Las Vegas (Nellis Air Force Base)....JAMI

    May 1, 2010 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    Can anyone give information on Brinkley, AR. My father lives alone there, and I'm worried.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Renee/California

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone throughout the state of Arkansas. I have family all throughout: Fayetteville, Romance, Jonesborough, Pocahontas, Black Rock, Batesville, Walnut Ridge, Hoxie, and Paragould and hoping that everyone is okay. I usually go out and stay in Clinton and Fairfield Bay areas. I know the storms out their are very fierce and scary. Thank you all for the updates and websites! Be safe and we will continue praying for you all!

    May 1, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. AmandaMqn

    Eric- I'm in Conway and haven't heard anything about Brinkley. I don't think it has gotten horrible there yet. I hope he is ok.

    May 1, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Former cop

    I was a police officer in Kensett and Des Arc and I remember one very stormy night while in Des Arc, We were on tornodo watch until day break. It rained like some one was above us and pouring buckets of water down on us. Fortunately there were not twisters, I know what ya'll are going through.

    May 1, 2010 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Former cop

    Mz, lisa, can you send some info on the surrounding communities there, Judsonia, Kensett and others?

    May 1, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. Former cop

    I don't have any living relatives there any more, Granny was the last, she's buried in the Kensett cemetery. I did have a lot of friends but I don't know if they are still around, In '79 I was in the VA hospital there in LR, and there was a storm warning issued, There was a twister and it passed right over us. Man what a racket that thing made. Fortunately it didn't touch down or cause any damage that I can remember.,

    May 1, 2010 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Former cop

    Correct me if I am wrong here Kimberly, but this story is about the devastating weather in Arkansas. I think your problem is for the law to handle. and you need to learn how to type, your's is atrocious.

    May 1, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Former cop

    PS Kimberly, you could use some instructions on spelling as well.

    May 1, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry Detzel

    How do you lower the death toll? Was there a miracle and somebody came back to life?

    May 1, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Former cop

    That's a good question Jerry. I think there was a lack of communcation on reports comeing in and a little panic whiich is natural considering that those twisters and storms ranged much of the state all at once and for hours. I do believe though the true numbers will come out when it's over. Estimations Jerry, just estimations.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
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