SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson visited Springdale Thursday morning, more than a week after an early morning tornado caused significant damage in the area.
The governor toured some of the damage and spoke briefly at Nilfisk shortly after 10 a.m. He announced that the Small Business Administration will be “on the ground” in the area on April 12 to help measure damages and provide assistance.
What we are trying to do today is to see the measure of harm and damage because we have to do an assessment from a state level to see if we can provide individual assistance [and] to see what kind of public assistance might be available. In talking to the mayor, I’m just so proud of them because they’re really handling the response very effectively. I assured him, if there is anything the state can provide, we want to be able to do that.Gov. Asa Hutchinson
The governor added that he was thankful there was no loss of life from the tornado, and noted that he was present in Springdale for a tornado that caused deaths in 1970. He also wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the storm.
The tornado caused a great deal of destruction in northwest Arkansas. The George Elementary School gymnasium was destroyed by the tornado, which also left at least seven people injured.
The National Weather Service originally classified the tornado as an EF-2 rated storm before upgrading it to an EF-3.