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A daylong barrage of winds and heavy rains knocked out power to more than 19,000 Arkansans statewide Saturday and caused minor flooding in southeastern portions of the state, authorities said.

Strong winds knocked down seven utility poles in 20 minutes in Little Rock, National Weather Service meteorologist Dylan Cooper said Saturday afternoon. Meteorologists in North Little Rock recorded a wind gust of 46 mph, he added.

Entergy Arkansas' power-failure maps showed more than 3,300 customers were without power in Pulaski County as of 6:30 p.m. and more than 19,200 were without electricity statewide. Saline County was experiencing the worst of the afternoon and evening power failures, with about 3,900 customers without power.

The storm affecting Little Rock stretched from Batesville and Jonesboro in the northeast all the way to the southwestern corner of the state. Cooper said the last of the storm system crossed into the Texarkana area around 4:30 p.m. Storms stretched across the vast majority of the state.

A few flooded areas were reported in the southern portion of the state, Cooper said. But there was no severe flooding by Saturday evening.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reported widespread flooding in Calhoun County, particularly in and around Hampton, spokesman Melody Daniel said. No injuries were reported.

In Texas, the same storm front killed two children, injured about a dozen people and produced at least one suspected tornado near Franklin, about 125 miles south of Dallas, The Associated Press reported.

An 8-year-old and 3-year-old died Saturday after a tree fell on their family's car near Lufkin, Texas, according to reports.

Flash flood warnings and tornado watches stretched across the majority of north Louisiana and central Mississippi. The tornado watch was to expire by 9 p.m. Saturday, but the flood watch in Mississippi will be in effect until May 2, according to the National Weather Service reports.

There also was one reported tornado touchdown near Vicksburg, Miss., the AP reported. Several businesses and homes were damaged.

National Weather Service meteorologist Monique Sellers told the AP that the vast storm system should shift to the Ohio Valley and the southeast by today.

Flash flood warnings in effect in Arkansas' southern counties -- Chicot, Drew, Ashley, Union, Bradley, and parts of Calhoun, Lincoln and Desha -- were expected to abate by 1 a.m. today. Cooper said the saturated ground in central and southern Arkansas was particularly susceptible to flooding.

A flash flood watch for central and southern parts of the state was in effect until 1 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

Metro on 04/14/2019

Print Headline: Storms across Arkansas cause flooding, blackouts


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