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Woman killed by fallen tree in Cleveland County as storms move through state

by Teresa Moss, Brianna Kwasnik | April 13, 2022 at 7:32 p.m.
Severe weather outlook for Wednesday. (Courtesy of the National Weather Service)

A 20-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on a mobile home in Cleveland County late afternoon Wednesday as storms moved through the area, Cleveland County Emergency Manager Stephen McClellan said.

McClellan said the Cleveland County sheriff’s office received a report at approximately 4:40 p.m. that someone was trapped by a tree in the 300 block of East Sixth Street in Rison. The site on the east side of Rison is located about 20 miles south-southwest of Pine Bluff.

First responders with the Cleveland County sheriff’s office, the Office of Emergency Management, the Rison Fire Department and an ambulance responded to the scene but found the woman dead at the site.

“It is a sad story,” McClellan said.

He said the woman had been married for exactly one month.

McClellan said the winds had already started to slow by the time the tree fell. He said it is possible the ground was oversaturated and caused the tree to fall.

There were reports of numerous trees down in Cleveland County after storms rolled through south-central Arkansas, McClellan said. He said the county’s road department was working on clearing trees that were blocking roadways.

— Teresa Moss

5:10 p.m.: Possible funnel cloud spotted in West Memphis after another near Blytheville

A possible funnel cloud was reported in West Memphis in Crittenden County at about 3:40 p.m., according to the National Weather Service reporting system. Another possible funnel cloud was spotted earlier in Mississippi County.

Mississippi County Emergency Manager Wayne Reynolds said the county had reports of trees down in Blytheville and damage to a business in Osceola. He also confirmed reports of damage to two school buildings in Etowah and Dyess that are no longer in use.

Reynolds said Mississippi County sheriff’s office deputies were driving around the county and assessing damage as of about about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Flash flooding was being reported in Monroe, Pulaski and Saline counties.

— Teresa Moss

4:15 p.m.: Funnel cloud reported near Blytheville; severe weather mostly through Central Arkansas but flash flooding still a concern

A funnel cloud was reported near Arkansas Highway 181 near Blytheville by a trained weather spotter at about 3:08 p.m., according to reports submitted to the National Weather Service.

Mississippi County remained under a tornado warning just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The Mississippi County sheriff’s office reported damage to the National Weather Service within the past hour, said Dennis Cavanaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The damage included an old county school building in Etowah and another old school building in Dyess.

The most severe weather moved through Central Arkansas by late afternoon, Cavanaugh said. Threats remained for the southern portion of the state, specifically the southeastern section.

Flash flooding remains a concern in Central Arkansas, including parts of Little Rock, Cavanaugh said. A car was reported stuck in water in North Little Rock just after 3:30 p.m., he said.

Cavanaugh said the area also had reports of multiple trees down after a round of storms moved through the city at about 3 p.m.

– Teresa Moss

2:24 p.m.: Storms knock out power to over 4,000 customers in Pulaski County as utilities report outages across Arkansas

Roughly 24,000 Arkansans were without power Wednesday afternoon, including over 4,000 customers in Pulaski County, as storms pushed across the state.

Just over 11,600 Entergy customers throughout Arkansas were without power shortly before 2 p.m., according to an outage map provided by the utility. About 14,800 Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas were without power, a separate outage map reported.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday for central and southwestern portions of Arkansas and parts of Louisiana and Texas, forecasters said. 

A separate tornado watch has been issued for much of eastern Arkansas, as well as parts of Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, until 9 p.m.

A wind advisory is in effect for the eastern portion of the state until 5 p.m., according to forecasters.

A flash flood warning has been issued for areas that include Harrison, Bull Shoals and Flippin, until 1:55 p.m.

For a full list of weather warnings, visit the National Weather Service in North Little Rock at weather.gov/lzk/.

1:35 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warnings issued for parts of Arkansas

Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for portions of Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service. 

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued until 1:45 p.m. for parts of central and southeastern Arkansas, including portions of Cleveland, Grant, Calhoun, Dallas, Ouachita and Jefferson counties

A tornado watch remains in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, forecasters said. The watch includes areas of central and southern Arkansas.

A wind advisory is in effect for the eastern portion of the state until 5 p.m., according to forecasters.

A flash flood warning has been issued for areas that include Harrison, Bull Shoals and Flippin, until 1:55 p.m.

For a full list of weather warnings, visit the National Weather Service in North Little Rock at weather.gov/lzk/.

11:39 a.m. Tornado warning issued for parts of Arkansas

A tornado warning has been issued until 11:45 a.m. for areas that include Ola, Plainview and Birta, according to the National Weather Service. 

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued until noon for areas that include Marshall, Leslie and Big Flat. The weather service also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas that include Russellville, Morrilton and Dardanelle until 12:15 p.m.

A flash flood warning has been issued for areas that include Harrison, Bull Shoals and Flippin, until 1:55 p.m.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday for other parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, forecasters said. The watch includes areas of central and southern Arkansas.

11:06 a.m.: Tornado watch in effect for parts of Arkansas

Another round of severe weather across the state Wednesday is expected to bring a chance for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. 

A tornado watch was issued until 5 p.m. Wednesday for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, forecasters said. The watch includes areas of central and southern Arkansas.

A cold front will move from southeast through the state, entering Northwest Arkansas late Wednesday morning, a briefing from the weather service states.

Wednesday's predictions come after storms produced four confirmed tornadoes Monday, according to forecasters. In central Texas, nearly two dozen people were injured when tornadoes swept through.

Forecasters said the greatest threat for severe weather is expected during the afternoon into the evening hours across central and eastern Arkansas.

Eastern Arkansas is at a moderate risk for severe weather conditions, including hail up to the size of a golf ball, winds of up to 80 mph and a medium potential for tornadoes, according to the briefing. Much of central Arkansas is at an enhanced risk for those same conditions, while western Arkansas is at a slight risk, forecasts show.

  photo  A tornado watch is in effect for part of the state on Wednesday, according to this National Weather Service graphic.
 
 

Periodic heavy rainfall could lead to local flooding issues, forecasters said. 

Strong southerly gradient winds will be present across the state ahead of the cold front, bringing wind gusts of up to 35 mph, the briefing states.

A wind advisory is in effect for the eastern portion of the state, according to forecasters.

Below-normal temperatures will settle overnight and into Thursday morning across portions of northwestern and northern-central Arkansas, with temperatures dropping into the mid-30s, according to the weather service. A frost advisory will be in effect overnight Wednesday for northern-central parts of the state, forecasters said.

Roughly 4,500 Entergy customers and 2,200 Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas members were experiencing outages shortly before 10 a.m., according to the utilities’ outage maps.

Read more about severe weather in Arkansas

National Weather Service Little Rock » twitter.com/nwslittlerock

Weather radar » arkansasonline.com/localweather/

Severe Weather Awareness Quiz » arkansasonline.com/weatherquiz/

How have you been impacted by a tornado in Arkansas? Tell us » arkansasonline.com/413tell/

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