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Severe Weather and Tornado’s Take a Toll

Southwest Arkansas residents were pounded with severe weather Friday night. The National Weather Service placed a large part of the state under a tornado watch, then Polk County had a sever thunderstorm warning and a tornado warning before the weather finally cleared out. Damage was reported to a billboard and building at Old Potter caused by strong, straight line winds, numerous reports of downed trees and power outages along with anywhere from one and a half inches of rain in Mena to as much as three and a half in the southern part of the county created some problems for county roads and low water bridges. Much harder hit were people in Umpire, located in far north Howard County close to the Polk County line, where a tornado hit and was well documented by people with cell phones. Damage to a electrical sub station in Dierks, also in Howard County, caused prolonged power outages in that area. The popular Shady Lake Campground in southeast Polk County suffered significant tree loss and some structure damage, as well as damage to vehicles and RVs. Deputies had to walk in to check on campers since many large trees were blocking the access. Fortunately there were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities. There were other storms and damage, including confirmed tornadoes in the state Friday night.

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