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Strong thunderstorms move through parts of Arkansas

This article was originally published June 6, 2014 at 6:32 a.m. Updated June 6, 2014 at 5:45 p.m.


Debris is strewn around a building and power pole on 8th Street between Gaines and State streets in Little Rock after powerful thunderstorms tore through central Arkansas on Friday, June 6, 2014.

Central Arkansas Storm Damage

Storms with strong winds and heavy rain moved across Arkansas on Thursday afternoon, downing trees a...

Power failures

Entergy Arkansas reported about 5:45 p.m. that more than 34,000 of its customers were in the dark from the storms Thursday and Friday — down from about 47,000 failures reported earlier. The highest number — 12,190 — was in Pulaski County, which at one point Friday had more than 20,000 power failures. Mississippi, Poinsett, Pope, Saline and Garland counties each had more than 2,000 power failures Friday after the main storm system rolled through.

Entergy spokesman Sally Graham said power failures in the central Arkansas region are bringing linemen who were working to restore power in the northeast portion of the state after Thursday's storms to the Little Rock area.  Graham said around 450 linemen were working to restore power in northeast Arkansas. Power failures from Friday’s storms may require Entergy to call for help from its sister utility companies in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana, Graham said.

Trees down at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock:
Part of roof blown off building onto fence and car at 3rd and Center streets

Train Derailment

High winds from a powerful storm system knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses and c...

5:45 p.m. update: Possible tornado reported in Batesville

Two Independence County agencies are confirming multiple reports that a possible tornado was sighted in Batesville during Friday's storms.

Spokesmen with the county sheriff's office and office of emergency management said they had received reports of a tornado in the city. Two injuries were reported there as a result of the storm.

An official with the National Weather Service in Little Rock said the service's radar showed only straight-line winds across the state, but it would be investigating the reports. CLICK HERE for more on this story.

3:10 p.m. update: Traffic snarled by storm damage in Little Rock

Storm damage in Little Rock is causing some traffic issues throughout the city Friday afternoon.

While authorities say no roads are officially closed at this time, photo reports show fallen trees are blocking some minor roads throughout the city.

With Entergy Arkansas reporting more than 20,000 customers without power in Pulaski County, several nonoperational traffic lights are are causing some delays in the metro area as well.

Meg Matthews, a spokesman for the city of Little Rock, reminds drivers to treat non-working traffic lights at an intersection as a four-way stop.

Meanwhile, Arkansas State Police confirmed a rollover accident in the inside, westbound lane of Interstate 630 near Mississippi Avenue sometime before 3 p.m. The Arkansas Online live traffic map showed part of I-630 at a standstill near the site of the accident. However, it wasn't clear whether that accident was caused by the storm.

CLICK HERE for live traffic conditions.

2:05 p.m. update: Storms down trees, power lines in central Arkansas

Storms with strong winds and heavy rain moving across Arkansas have downed trees and power lines and caused some damage in central Arkansas.

Warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson with the National Weather Service in Little Rock says says there are reports of windows blown out of buildings in Sherwood and roof damage to a building in Little Rock.

Entergy Arkansas reports tens of thousands of power outages, including more than 20,000 in Pulaski County.

Robinson says there were not yet any reports of flooding — but that street flooding is possible.

Robinson says the storm is moving rapidly eastward and is expected to be out of the state by early evening.

— The Associated Press

1:48 p.m. update: 60 mph winds estimated in Hot Springs, LR, Mayflower

Winds gusting up to 60 mph were reported in parts of central Arkansas Friday afternoon as strong storms moved through.

The weather service said the 60 mph gusts were reported by spotters in downtown Hot Springs, in downtown Little Rock and in Mayflower.

Entergy, meanwhile, reported thousands of customers in the dark as the storms moved through. Nearly 19,000 power failures were reported in Pulaski County at 1:45 p.m.

1:35 p.m. update: Storms move through central Arkansas; damage reported

Strong storms were moving through central Arkansas early Friday afternoon.

A severe thunderstorm warning through 1:45 p.m. covered southwestern Van Buren, north central Saline, west central Pulaski, eastern Pope, eastern Perry, western Faulkner and Conway counties.

A separate severe thunderstorm warning was issued until 2:15 p.m. for Cleburne County, eastern Conway County, Faulkner County, northern Lonoke County, northwestern Prairie County, northern Pulaski County, southwestern Stone County, Van Buren County and western White County.

The National Weather Service, meanwhile, was already receiving some reports of damage, including trees downed in Oppelo in Conway County and the roof of the Morrilton High School stadium press box blown off in Morrilton.

Power lines, meanwhile, were reported down on Arkansas 60 in Bigelow in Perry County, closing the highway.

1:14 p.m. update: Storms bring severe weather threat to state

More strong storms were moving across Arkansas Friday a day after powerful winds moved through north Arkansas, downing trees and power lines, derailing a train, killing two people and leaving widespread damage in several counties.

John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Little Rock, said a severe weather threat will encompass most of the state Friday.

The ground is soggy in many areas, Robinson said, and the threat of trees falling over when thunderstorms with gusty winds come through the state can lead to some power failures.

Officials with the Franklin County sheriff's office said a tree or limb was reported fallen on a vehicle on U.S. 64 just east of Altus, but that no one was injured. Trees were reported down elsewhere in Pike, Polk, Franklin and Yell counties as the storm system moved through Friday.

From Friday through Sunday, the northern half of the state could pick up to 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches of rain, with totals in some spots of 2 to 3 inches, he said.

Substantial rain is expected to continue over much of the state until Tuesday, Robinson said.

A flash flood watch has been issued for north-central and northeast Arkansas.

Meanwhile, Entergy Arkansas reported shortly after 1 p.m. that more than 15,000 of its customers were in the dark from the storms Thursday and Friday. The highest number — 2,893 — was in Mississippi County, while Poinsett, Pope and Garland counties each had more than 2,000 power failures.

At one point Thursday shortly after the storm moved through, Entergy reported more than 27,000 power failures and North Arkansas Electric Cooperatives had 25,000 customers in the dark. North Arkansas Electric reported power had been restored to all but a handful of customers by early Friday morning.

National Weather Service forecasters said the damage was due to a derecho, powerful straight-line winds produced in a line of thunderstorms.

Some information for this article was contributed by the Associated Press.


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