At least 12 counties in Arkansas reported damage and at least two people received minor injuries after stormy weather stretched across Arkansas on Saturday, officials said.
Five structures were destroyed in southern Pulaski County, according to Scott Fire Chief Ron Myers. Four were mobile homes, and one was a farm shop. Two people were transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to Dan Noble, spokesman for the state Department of Emergency Management.
Lt. Cody Burk, spokesman for the Pulaski County sheriff’s office, said that, though “the whole house was just destroyed,” the two were able to walk from the wreckage to their neighbor's house for help.
Other counties across the state reported damage, including Logan, Monroe, Lafayette and Prairie counties.
Noble said the area of greatest concern was Arkansas’ easternmost counties, those along the Mississippi River.
“That’s where the most significant chances for a tornado or much more severe weather than we’ve seen,” he said.
Arkansas is at risk for severe thunderstorms on Saturday, with damaging winds and a risk of isolated tornadoes the primary threat in the state’s southern and eastern regions and large hail the major concern in the northern part of the state, forecasters said.
All but part of Northwest Arkansas is at a slight risk of severe weather, according to a briefing by the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Heather Cross said storms are quickly moving east across the state, meaning the threat of severe weather is largely limited to the morning, though it may stretch into early afternoon for Arkansas’ easternmost sections.
The greatest threat is wind damage, particularly in the south and east, and a slight risk of isolated tornadoes exists there as well, forecasters said.
Rapid clearing is expected to take place behind the storms this afternoon, with winds increasing to 40 mph in sections of northern and eastern Arkansas, according to the weather service. In the southwestern half of the state residents can see winds between 20 to 30 mph.
By the middle of next week, showers and thunderstorms will again become widespread, with a risk of some strong storms, forecasters predict. Parts of Arkansas can receive up to 2 to 3 inches of rain through Wednesday, which may worsen river flooding, the weather service said.
A previous version of this article misspelled the name of the Scott fire chief.
Print Headline: UPDATE: 12 counties in state report damage from storms; 2 people hurt