LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he is reaching out to the local leaders in northwest Arkansas and state officials after severe weather ripped through the area Wednesday morning.

Hutchinson said he had spoken with the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management as well as Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse about the response to the violent storms, which destroyed homes and buildings and left at least seven people injured.

The governor noted that there were “significant damages and injuries” in the area, including to school buildings, though there were thankfully no students inside.

Search and rescue teams are being deployed to the area, Hutchinson said. He also asked Arkansans to stay aware of the weather situation throughout the day.

The eastern side of the state is set to remain under a tornado watch for much of Wednesday.