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    Updated: Tornado Sweeps Central Arkansas

    4:42 PM, Apr 4, 2008   |    comments
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    The following are rainfall totals from storms that moved over the state April 3-4:

    • Glenwood, in western Arkansas, 6.4 inches
    • Bonnerdale, south of Hot Springs, 5.9 inches
    • Amity, in southwestern Arkansas, 5.1 inches
    • Hot Springs, 4.9 inches
    • Malvern, 4.7 inches
    • Benton, 4 inches
    • Little Rock and Jonesboro each had more than 21/2 inches of rain while DeQueen, North Little Rock and West Memphis had about 21/4 inches.
    Related Links
  • Storms Cause More Flooding Problems
  • STORM DAMAGE VIDEOS
  • Thursday's Storms Blast Cammack Village
  • Storm Damage In North Little Rock, Sherwood
  • A Dozen Homes Destroyed Near Benton
  • Damage in Cabot
  • Storm Produces 2nd Highest Wind Gust Recorded In North Little Rock
  • Fujita Scale Info
  • (Little Rock, Ark.)-- A tornado left a path of damage through Pulaski, Saline and Lonoke counties, with numerous downed trees and broken utility poles. (Click the links below the pictures to watch incredible surveillance video and much more, including our previous stories.) A team from the National Weather Service in Little Rock surveyed tornado damage across portions of Saline County on Friday. A tornado tracked from 2.7 miles northeast of Benton to 2.2 miles northwest of Bryant. This included the area in and around the Hurricane Lake mobile home park. The path length was 2.7 miles long. The tornado has been rated an EF2 on the enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF2 tornado is considered a significant tornado with winds 113-157 mph. Here's the description: considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated. (See link under pictures for more on the scale.) Electricity was out to 47,000 customers Friday in central Arkansas. Power company officials say restoration could take some time due to the amount of damage. Dan Daughtery with Entergy said Friday evening that they had 12,000 without power statewide. They had 45,000 without power Thursday night. The Thursday night storm damaged a trailer park, an auto dealership and other spots in Saline County, and moved northeast into Little Rock and then North Little Rock. The tornado damaged areas of the central part of Little Rock and moved past the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock, where the airport also sustained damage to hangars and aircraft. Pulaski County officials said Friday morning trees were down and there was flooding at Gravel Ridge in the North Little Rock area. In the Cammack Village area of Little Rock, near the Arkansas River, residents were walking their dogs Friday morning and looking at the damage. Steve Bauman, 55, said he and his wife hid in an interior bathroom of their house after a tornado siren sounded for the second time Thursday night. "We felt the house shaking so we figured it hit on the back of the house," Bauman said. The high winds lopped off the top of a pine tree in the Baumans' back yard, and a limb pierced the cathedral ceiling of their bedroom. Bauman said slept to the sound of water dripping into a pot he placed under the hole. Neighbor Jeff Melville, 45, said his front door began to shake as the storm passed. "I didn't move fast enough, I should have been (away from) there five minutes earlier," Melville said while his dog Daisy dog sniffed at fresh pine needles blown down the night before. "I grabbed her, touched the front doorway and ran to the hallway," he said. Melville's home suffered shingle damage, though downed limbs lay scattered in the neighborhood's small park. Gregory Greene, 39, watched as the tornado passed through part of Little Rock. "I thought I was going to die," Greene said. "I saw debris flying around in a circle when I was about to go in and pick up my girlfriend from work," Greene said outside an Andy's Restaurant. "Stuff was going around in circles. "About that time, it pushed her up against the building and knocked me down and pushed me under that truck," Greene said. While he was under the truck, the storm flipped a car in the next parking space. His right elbow was rubbed raw. At the North Little Rock Airport, the storm passed directly over the local office of the National Weather Service. Meteorologists took shelter in a safe room as the storm moved through. A single-engine Cessna lay on its nose propellor against a fuel truck near the runway Friday morning. The winds also tore into one metal-sided hangar and cut across the runway heading northeast. Damage was also reported in Benton at a mobile home park and a car dealership whose surveillance camera caught the storm on tape. After hitting Little Rock, the storm moved into the city's northeastern suburbs. Trees and power lines were reported down in Jacksonville and Cabot. Thursday night in Cammack Village, a community of 1,000 surrounded by northwest Little Rock, police and firefighters went door-to-door to check on residents. State police say one person died Friday morning on Interstate 30 in Clark County in a crash that appears to have been related to heavy rain that was falling. Interstate 30, which had been closed earlier Friday, was reopened to traffic. Water was over a foot deep in some areas. Highway 5 was also flooded for a time. The detours slowed traffic between Little Rock and Saline County to a crawl. A normally 30 minute commute took over two hours in some cases Friday morning. The Hot Spring County Sheriff's Office says flash floods in Malvern have resulted in a number of road closings. A dispatcher says deputies were still trying to get to different areas to block traffic. Heavy rain in the Hot Springs area forced authorities to release more water from Remmel Dam on the Ouachita River. Some minor flooding was reported in the Malvern area, downstream from the dam. Damage was also reported in Benton at a mobile home park and a car dealership whose surveillance camera caught the storm on tape. After hitting Little Rock, the storm moved into the city's northeastern suburbs. Trees and power lines were reported down in Jacksonville and Cabot. The storm contributed to traffic accidents when it passed through the metropolitan area of about 500,000 people. A number of shelters were set up at churches in the region. Thursday night in Cammack Village, a community of 1,000 surrounded by northwest Little Rock, police and firefighters went door-to-door to check on residents. As early as last weekend, forecasters had warned of a severe weather outbreak Thursday night. Over the past two months, parts of Arkansas have endured an EF4 tornado during a storm outbreak that killed 13, a foot of snow, upward of a foot of rain and near-record flooding.

    (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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