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VIDEO: Tornado-warned storms move through Arkansas

By David Harten

This article was originally published May 30, 2013 at 3:53 p.m. Updated May 30, 2013 at 10:20 p.m.

an-apparent-tornado-is-pictured-thursday-in-the-brady-mountain-recreation-area-on-lake-ouachita-north-of-royal-ark

An apparent tornado is pictured Thursday in the Brady Mountain Recreation Area on Lake Ouachita north of Royal, Ark.


Video shot by Robert Wilson and submitted by Jasen Shamlin

A swath of storms swept across Arkansas on Thursday, bringing high winds, heavy rains and possible tornadoes to various parts of the state.

The day saw several reports of damaged buildings from radar-indicated and reported tornadoes, straight-line winds, hail and heavy rain.

Garland and Montgomery counties look to be the hardest hit from the storms, with various reports of damage and flooding coming out in the area, along with reports of tornadoes, specifically near Lake Ouachita. Later in the night, the storm system hit central Arkansas — reportedly producing possible tornadoes near Mayflower and Paron — bringing heavy rains, wind and lightning.

Montgomery and Garland counties remained under a severe thunderstorm warning until 9:30 p.m.

A second round of tornado warnings hit the western and central part of the state, causing those in the areas to be on alert until around 10:30 p.m. While no tornadoes were spotted from that batch of warnings, various high-wind advisories were reported.

Over 10,000 Entergy customers were reportedly without power late into the night, according to the company.

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

9:50 p.m. UPDATE

The tornado warnings for Faulkner, Lonoke and Pulaski counties have been canceled, according to a the National Weather Service.

Reports are also out that nearly 11,000 people are without power across the state.

Faulkner, Lonoke, Prairie, Pulaski, White and Grant counties are also under a severe thunderstorm warning until 10:30 p.m., in addition to the other warnings.

9:25 UPDATE

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Pulaski, Lonoke and Faulkner counties until 10 p.m.

NWS indicated a line of storms in northern Pulaski County was severe enough to produce a tornado. The storm is moving northeast at 30 miles per hour.

As of 8:30 p.m., Entergy reported 7,491 customers without power across the state.

9:18 UPDATE

The National Weather Service canceled tornado watches for 26 counties in the western and central part of the state Thursday night.

At 8:49 p.m., NWS canceled the tornado watch in effect for Baxter, Boone, Clark, Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Fulton, Garland, Hot Spring, Izard, Johnson, Logan, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Stone, Van Buren and Yell counties.

The counties of Arkansas, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Grant, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Monroe, Ouachita, Prairie, Sharp, White and Woodruff remain under a tornado watch until 4 a.m. Friday morning.

8:30 p.m. UPDATE

The National Weather Service has canceled tornado warnings for Pulaski, Perry, Saline and Faulkner counties.

All counties are now under a severe thunderstorm warning until 9:15 p.m.

8:11 UPDATE

The tornado warning continues for northwestern Pulaski County, as well as parts of Perry, Faulkner and Saline counties, now until 9 p.m.

Reports of quarter and half dollar-size hale are coming out, along with reports that a church in Saline County was destroyed by high winds.

The storm is moving northeast at 15 miles per hour.

In addition, a severe thunderstorm warning have been issued for Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Polk, Scott and Yell counties until 8:45 p.m.

In terms of outages, Entergy Arkansas reports that 5,172 customers are still without power across the state, with the company still hoping to return power to all by 11 p.m.

7:56 p.m. UPDATE

A tornado warning has been issued for northwestern Pulaski and Saline counties until 8:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. An additional tornado warning was issued for Perry County until 8:15 p.m.

A radar-indicated tornado was spotted three miles east of Lake Winona, 12 miles northeast of Hot Springs Village.

The storm is moving northeast at 25 miles per hour.

7:30 p.m. UPDATE

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Garland, Saline, Perry and Yell counties until 8:15 p.m.

Several reports are also surfacing that roads in Polk County and other areas are becoming impassible because of rising waterways due to heavy rain.

7:11 UPDATE

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery and Pike counties until 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. NWS also issued the same warning for Saline County until 7:45 p.m.

Flash flood warnings have been issued for several counties across the state by the NWS as well.

In all, 17 counties are under the warning: Clark, Conway, Faulkner, Garland, Hot Spring, Pike, Polk, Perry, Pulaski, Saline, Scott, Independence, Jackson, Montgomery, White, Woodruff and Yell counties. The warning is expected to last between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

NWS also added that straight-line winds are to be expected with the latest storm cell to hit the area, which should hit the Lake Ouachita area within the next 10 minutes.

6:41 p.m. UPDATE

The counties of Garland, Montgomery, Clark, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike and Polk are now under a severe thunderstorm warning until 7:15 p.m., according the the National Weather Service.

NWS is also noticing a possible bow echo in the storm cell moving through Montgomery County.

6:18 UPDATE

The National Weather Service has re-issued a tornado warning for Montgomery County until 6:30 p.m.

The storm is moving east at 25 miles per hour.

In a further update from Entergy, the estimated total of customers without power due to storms has fallen to 6,960. The company is working towards getting power back on in the area by 11 p.m.

5:57 p.m. UPDATE

A tornado warning has expired for Polk, Pope and Montgomery counties.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Desha and Drew counties in southeastern Arkansas until 6:30 p.m., while a flash flood warning has been issued for Independence, Jackson, White and Woodruff counties until 9 p.m.

Entergy is now reporting 7,087 customers without power across the state as a result of the storms. In terms of the individual counties, 3,236 are without power in Garland County, 1,289 in Stone County and 1,109 in White County.

In terms of damage, Garland County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. James Martin said that no new reports of damage or injuries have been reported in the area, outside of what already has been discovered.

5:30 p.m. UPDATE

The National Weather Service has issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Garland, Perry, Yell and Saline counties until 5:45 p.m. Montgomery and Polk counties were also issued the same warning, with extensions until 6 p.m.

Arkansas and Jefferson had similar severe thunderstorm warnings continued until 5:45 p.m.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Garland, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Polk, Scott and Yell counties until 7:30 p.m. tonight.

More than 5,700 are without power due to the storms, according to Entergy's website. Nearly 4,200 are out in western and southwestern Arkansas, with more than 1,200 out in the northern part of the state.

5:15 p.m. UPDATE

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Montgomery, Polk and Scott counties until 5:45 p.m.

A flash flood warning has also been issued for Garland, Hot Spring, Perry, Saline and Montgomery counties until 8 p.m.

The warning for Polk is an extension, with reports saying a cell just south of Wickes could produce a tornado.

4:55 UPDATE

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Arkansas, Jefferson and Lincoln counties in eastern and southeastern Arkansas until 5:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Little Rock is also getting reports of tornadoes on the ground in Clark and Polk counties.

Storm damage and injuries are also reported in southwest and western Arkansas.

Tommy Jackson, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said that a storm from earlier Thursday afternoon sent three people to the hospital in Clark County. The extent of their injuries is unknown. The storm hit about 3 p.m., destroying one residence and causing other minor structural damage.

Jackson added that storm damage from an area of Highway 88 in Garland County caused multiple injuries, though the extent of them is unclear at this time.

Entergy is reporting 4,858 customers are without power across 20 counties in the state due to the storms. Officials with the company said power should be restored by 11 p.m.

4:30 p.m. UPDATE

A tornado warning has been issued for Polk County until 5:15 p.m. The tornado warnings for Garland, Perry and Saline counties have been cancelled.

A majority of the damage from storms around the state is coming from strong winds and hail damage. The National Weather Service says it's looking into several reports of funnel clouds in and around Garland County.

Reports are surfacing from the Garland County sheriff's office that several homes are damaged and power lines are down, with roads blocked as well. Officials are also reporting damage on Nubbin Ridge Road in the area.

4:10 p.m. UPDATE

A tornado warning has been issued for Garland, western Perry and extreme northwestern Saline counties by the National Weather Service until 4:45 p.m. The storm is moving northeast at 30 miles per hour.

Entergy is reporting over 1,200 customers are without power in southwestern and far western Arkansas. An additional 949 customers have lost power in northern Arkansas due to the storms.

ORIGINAL STORY

At least one house is destroyed after storms swept through the state Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 3:45 p.m. when a tornado-warned storm hit near Oden in Montgomery County, a spokesman with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said.

At least one person was confirmed injured from the incident, the spokesman added.

The National Weather Service is attributing the damage to a tornado. At this time, the storms have mainly caused downed power lines and fallen trees.

The storms are moving northeast from the area.

Information in this story was also provided by the Associated Press.

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NoUserName says... May 30, 2013 at 10:31 p.m.

And...I lose power again. Way to go Entergy. You suck. Seriously. There is no excuse for the failure of the power grid every time the wind kicks up a bit.

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