Tornado Kills At Least 3, Injures Dozens In Arkansas

[Screenshot/YouTube/ABC 7 Chicago]

Font Size:

A new slate of heavy storms plowed through the South Friday night, resulting in tornadoes that have killed at least three people and injured dozens of others.

After a tornado swept through Little Rock, Arkansas in the afternoon of March 31, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. reported that at least 24 people had been hospitalized after sustaining injuries in the storm. Though Scott did not report any fatalities in the capital city, the Pulaski County coroner confirmed one person was killed in the northern part of the city, according to The New York Times (NYT).

Damage caused by the storm was reportedly “extensive,” with the Little Rock Fire Department (LRFD) detailing heavy damage and debris in the western part of the city. In an alert posted to Facebook, the LRFD asked residents to avoid the area as rescue operations were underway.

As the tornado cut a path directly though the National Weather Service office in the city, meteorologists were forced to take cover in a tornado shelter, relying on the Memphis office of the Weather Service to issue warnings and updates on their behalf, the NYT reported. (RELATED: ‘Dear Jesus, Please Help Them’: Weatherman Prays During Broadcast As Tornado Rips Through Town)

Three hours later, a second tornado touched down in the northeastern part of the state near the town of Wynne. In the aftermath of that storm, the Cross County coroner’s office reported two fatalities, as reported by CBS News.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders braced residents for the possibility of a rising death toll from the storm. “We’re hopeful that it doesn’t but I think given the nature and the volatility of the situation, we’re certainly preparing that it could,” she stated, according to the NYT.

The storms are expected to continue east, possibly spawning more damaging winds, rain and hail as they travel through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, the outlet stated.