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Update: Seven Dead As Storms Rake Arkansas

Tornado Near Carlisle/Photo by Alex Gordin

Bee Branch/Van Buren County

Bee Branch/Van Buren County

Bee Branch/Van Buren County

Bee Branch/Van Buren County

Morrilton/Conway County

Morrilton/Conway County

Morrilton/Conway County

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(Little Rock- KTHV) -- Seven people died in severe weather across Arkansas Friday. At least 13 people were injured, according to state officials.

Authorities say three people were killed near Damascus and two others died in Conway county when possible tornadoes struck Friday morning.
State officials say another fatality occurred in the Hensley area of Pulaski county, south of Little Rock. A single death was reported in Benton county.

Authorities in Conway County have confirmed that two people died as a possible tornado hit the Birdtown area. Conway County is also reporting that six people have been transported to a hospital as a result of injuries. The extent of injuries is unknown at this time.

Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith says the deaths, a father and son, were reported at a home along M & M Road. Numerous homes were damaged when the storm struck that area Friday morning.

The worst damage appears to be off of Highway 9 north of Birdtown. Authorities report 10 to 15 homes were destroyed. A command post has been set up in the Birdtown area. Only emergency responders were being allowed into the damaged areas. Communication is difficult since phone service is limited. Shelters have been set up for storm victims in Conway and Van Buren counties.

The Arkansas Dept. of Emergency Management confirms that three people died in the storms near Damascus in Faulkner County. Malcolm Brumley, his wife Robin and their four-year-old granddaughter Kadi died when their home took a direct hit from a tornado.

Six people in the Damascus area were hospitalized for injuries. The weather service says a trained spotter saw the tornado just after 8:30 a.m. about two miles from Damascus. There is damage to nearly 30 homes, three businesses and a church in Damascus in Faulkner County. The Southside Baptist Church in Damascus was destroyed by the tornado.

National Guard members have been assigned to aid local authorities to prevent looting in the storm damaged areas of Van Buren County.

Police in Siloam Springs say a 15-year-old girl was killed early Friday when a tree fell through her bedroom where she was sleeping. A 10-year-old boy was in the same room, but escaped with only minor injuries. Siloam Springs schools were closed for the day Friday. Siloam Springs police asked residents to stay off the streets.

There were also have damage reports in Center Ridge in Conway County. The Center Ridge community suffered heavy damage in an EF-4 tornado earlier this year.

Morrilton police tell Today’s THV that there was scattered damage there from storms Friday morning.

In Van Buren County near Bee Branch deputies confirm damage to at least seven houses near Highway 124 and Highway 65. State officials say 28 homes were destroyed in Van Buren county in all. A church suffered severe damage in the storm. Highway 65 was closed south of Bee Branch due to debris and damage.

In Cleburne County at Greers Ferry, state officials report over 100 homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm. The Heber Springs Fire Department reported that several roads were blocked by damage. Some residents were trapped in their homes immediately after the storm.

Clinton police say there was damage south of them, but not in the city of Clinton.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reports damage in Benton, Conway, Cleburne, Franklin, Howard, Newton, Pope and Van Buren counties. The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to a level three.

 Monika Rued, Online Content Supervisor  
Created: 5/2/2008 8:43:15 AM
Updated: 5/2/2008 7:08:31 PM


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