LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Natural State has been reeling after severe storms produced multiple tornadoes devastating parts of Little Rock and Arkansas.
Monday, crews with the National Weather Service in Little Rock reported their findings of an additional two tornadoes from Friday, March 31st. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Memphis confirmed an additional tornado from Friday, March 31st. This brings the count to 5 tornadoes from Friday, with a total of 17 tornadoes for the year across Arkansas so far.
The tornado was on the ground for nearly 32 miles for over half an hour. It started at 2:20 pm Friday in west Little Rock and ended southeast of Cabot at 2:58 pm. The estimated peak wind was 165mph, which is the strongest an EF3 tornado can be. An EF4 is 166-200mph. The path length was 600 yards.
The first tornado started at 2:20pm Friday southwest of Kanis Road near Hartford Street in west Little Rock.
Crews said the tornado rapidly began to intensify as it passed northeast over Chenal Parkway, where it severely damaged several apartment buildings off Napa Valley Drive.
After crossing over I-430 near the North Rodney Parham Road interchange, the storm damaged a shopping center, including a Kroger and many more homes and businesses.
NWS crews said between I-430 and Cantrell Road is where many homes and apartments were severely damaged, with roofs ripped off and hundreds of trees uprooted.
The storm then crossed Cantrell near Foxcroft Road and damaged more apartments and businesses before moving toward Cammack Village, where it also uprooted and snapped trees at Murray Park.
After leaving Murray Park, crews said the tornado uprooted or snapped hundreds, if not thousands of trees at Burns Park.
The storm then crossed I-40 west of exit 150 and damaged a new fire station still under construction among other buildings before passing over MacArthur Drive near the Military Drive intersection in Amboy where more homes and businesses were damaged.
As the storm continued its path of destruction, it crossed over John F. Kennedy Boulevard near Club Road in Sherwood. The storm eventually passed over Brockington Road north of Kiehl Avenue and passed over rural marshland just northwest of US-67 near the Redmond exit in Jacksonville.
While in Jacksonville, the tornado seemed to strengthen according to NWS crews. Many more homes and businesses in the area were damaged before the tornado passed over the Holland Bottoms State Wildlife Area west of Kerr Station Road.
As it exited the wildlife area, NWS officials said that the tornado crossed through southeast Cabot before lifting between Arkansas Hwy 321 and Campground Road.
As of Monday, there have been 54 reported injuries and one fatality from the tornado. Over 30,000 in Pulaski County alone were left without power.
In addition to the storm that damaged Little Rock and central Arkansas, there was an EF-3 tornado in Wynne, Arkansas.
The National Weather Service in Memphis also confirmed a tornado near Lexa in Phillips County. This is an EF-U (unknown). The tornado was spotted by an emergency manager, as well as several public spotters including Storm Chaser Derek Smith. There were no damage indications found, therefore the tornado was rated an EF-U.
NWS Little Rock confirms an EF-2 tornado in Alco (west of Mountain View) in Stone County. It started at 4:49 pm Friday and ended at 4:53 pm. Path length was 2.9 miles with an estimated peak wind of 111mph.
The weakest tornado was an EF-1 near Des Arc in Prairie County. It started 3:45 pm Friday and ended a minute later at 3:46 pm. It was on the ground for 1.1 miles and caused damage to a barn and roof. The video above was captured by Storm Chaser Derek Smith.
If you have been affected by these storms and need help, or want to help, visit HelpArkansas.com.