Storm’s high winds cause damage Friday

By The Arkadelphian

CURTIS — A strong thunderstorm that ripped through Southwest Arkansas early Friday morning caused lots of damage in Clark County.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the damages were caused by straight-line winds or a downburst, said Tate Chanler, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

Curtis took the brunt of Friday’s storm, Chanler said. Also hit heavily were Okolona, Gurdon, Vaden and parts of Manchester. Winds pushed trees down, blocking multiple county roads, and onto “multiple” homes in the area, Chanler said.

At 7 a.m. the National Weather Service in Little Rock issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northern Clark County, with expected wind gusts of up to 60 mph. By 7:45 a.m. the Clark County Sheriff’s Office took numerous calls regarding downed trees on homes and over Highway 67. Curtis and Gum Springs fire departments were summoned to those areas.

John Cramer, Curtis
Kelli Loy, Curtis
Cassandra Melchor, Curtis

Minutes later, firefighters in the DeGray community were requested to check on fallen trees over state highways 51 and 26. As more emergency calls rang, emergency personnel learned there were motorists stuck on roadways between locations of fallen trees.

The East Clark County Fire Department was sent to the 2400 block of Highway 7 for a report of a tree on a house.

Chanler reported at 11:30 a.m. that most roads had been re-opened, but crews were still busy clearing county roads and waiting on power companies to take care of downed power lines before taking care of some locations. Power remained out for several in the county.

Leave a Reply