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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Filed under: U.S. • Uncategorized • Weather
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Anita

    I live about 20 miles from where this hit last night... 12 tornados in all across the state and more of the same today and tonight. 3 are dead reported by the police and fire department, but the corner has only recieved one of the victims. Our warning systems were up and running last night and our news stations were all over it, All of the local stations covered weather only from 7 until midnight when i went to bed. This is just so unfortunate and my heart and prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones and the things that they lost they had worked so hard to build. I ask all of you to pray for them as well.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. debbie

    Have friends in Searcy and Little Rock. Any news on those areas?

    May 1, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Victoria

    Has anyone heard if any of the truck stops around Little Rock were hit? May God be with everyone that was in the path of these storms last night and as I also heard possibly again today.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. CarolB

    I have relatives out there, sure hope they're okay.

    May 1, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anita

    No truck stops are reported hit... the storms hit more residential areas vs city areas, In east end there was a fire dept hit .

    Searcy and LR themselves are fine the closest to LR was east end which is actually in saline county.

    Here is a listing of the areas that the NWS is saying was hit so far.

    At 7:01, Cleveland County officials reported a tornado touchdown near Cleveland in the northern part of the county.

    At 8:06, the Sweet Home Baptist Church along with one home were destroyed in Center Ridge in Conway County.

    At 8:24, Arkansas State Police reported a tornado on the ground in Culpepper in Van Buren County.

    At 8:29, law enforcement reported a tornado doing damage on 145th Street just off Interstate 530 near Wrightsville in Pulaski County. Trees and power lines were reportedly down.

    At 8:48, there were numerous reports of tornado damage in the Saline County community of East End. The East End Fire Department sustained major damage and several people were trapped in their homes.

    At 8:48, law enforcement reported a tornado near College Station in Pulaski County. Numerous trees and power lines were down at exit 5 off Interstate 440.

    At 8:50, there were more reports of tornado damage including a major gas leak in the Fairview area of East End in Saline County.

    At 8:52, Arkansas State Police reported a tornado on the ground on Interstate 440 just south of Galloway in Pulaski County.

    At 8:54, State Police reported Interstate 40 was blocked because of tornado debris near the Pulaski and Lonoke County line, just east of Galloway.

    At 9:01, the South Bend Fire Department reported a tornado on the ground from just south of highway 294 traveling northeast. Officials say the damage path is 4 miles long and a quarter of a mile wide. Numerous traditional and mobile homes were destroyed. Areas affected include Robin Road, Redbird Lane and Graham Road, all near South Bend in Lonoke County.

    At 9:27, homes were reportedly damaged by a tornado in the Stone County town of Fox.

    At 10:46, a trained storm spotter reported damage in Schoffner, one mile north of Weldon in Jackson County. Trees and power lines were reportedly down

    May 1, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ashley Craig

    Here comes the rain again....

    May 1, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Neo2012

    Why are the black leaders doing this to the black community? Old Al Sharpton came out and said Blacks should be kept from the jobs Mexicans do and its Wall Street that is keeping blacks jobless.. No kidding, he said that. Then I read Obama is trying to kill Wall Street.

    I would think they do want the jobs, be angry because they are Americans and have rights to jobs. Now they are being oppressed by their own leaders making way for illegal immigrants. That’s just wrong!

    May 1, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Former cop

    Neo2012, what the hell has your comment got to do with the harsh weather in Arkansas? Peiople are concerened about the damages and mostly about the welfare of friends and loved ones. You're on the wrong story with that garbage. suggest you back up and retry on another article relevent to your crap.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Janey

    Im from south arkansas (Howard County) all my friends and family is down there. They said tornadoes touched down in Dierks, Lockesburg, Winthrop,and Umpire and also on Bluff Springs Road. They said it tore up Dierks really bad. This happended last night but they got more coming 2day and 2marrow!

    May 1, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Searcy Teacher

    Has anyone heard any more information about the 13 year old who got struck by lightening in white county?? I am a 6th grade school teacher and I'm praying it is not one of my students. Looks like round two will be upon us this evening. Everyone stay close to the Tv and Radio. God bless and stay safe. Praying for the families of those who have been killed or injured by these horrible storms. It is very heart warming to see these prayers and comments coming from around the world. We appreciate the prayers so very much. I have a little wind damage and a very flooded yard, here in West Searcy. But other than that we are very lucky.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sherry Winthorp

    I hate to say this but I am glad I don't live in Arkansas anymore. I lived there most of my life and feared the storms the spring would bring in the state. They had the most crazy storms I have ever seen and I have NEVER seen since moving to Arizona. My heart is broken to hear of the deaths and injuries and damage that has taken place in my home state. I am praying mother nature takes it easy on ya'll today. Please stay informed and up to date on the weather and please keep all of us informed about what is taking place. I have many friends and family that live in Central Arkansas around Conway and LR. Praying for Mississippi that appears to be getting hit hard right now. God bless and stay safe.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. liz

    is scotland any where near pocohantus

    May 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sherry Winthorp

    Pocahontas is over 200 miles from Scotland.

    May 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ashley Craig


    Go here for coverage


    May 1, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brent

    I have heard some people say that WildBlue does not go out as much in bad weather as Hughesnet. That might be an option. I have a blog about this topic at mybluedish.com/blog. Also you might try signing up for phone alerts with a weather channel. I know KATV will call you any time there is a weather alert in your area for $6.95/year I think. Not a bad price.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
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