Multiple Storms Leave Damage in March Across Ark.

May 11, 2006

Storms across Arkansas early on Wednesday, May 10 and the night before left a trail of damage, including fallen trees, roof damage and power outages affecting at least 25,000 customers, officials said.

Another line of severe thunderstorms moved through the state later Wednesday morning, with a third wave forecast for later in the day.

The National Weather Service said trees were blown down in places from southwest Arkansas to as far north as Mountain Home. A FedEx Corp. truck was blown into the median of Interstate 530 near Redfield and three-quarter-inch hail fell at Batesville and Dardanelle.

A train derailed at Wabbaseka east of Pine Bluff, the National Weather Service said. Jefferson County officials said two mobile homes were badly damaged.

Entergy Arkansas spokesman James Thompson said the storms, as of 5 a.m., caused about 25,000 power outages. Thompson said the greatest number of outages was in Pine Bluff, where 6,000 customers were out.

Thompson said Malvern had 4,900 outages; Little Rock had 3,600, Stuttgart 3,500; Russellville 1,600 hundred and 1,200 each in Jacksonville and Marion. The rest of the outages were scattered south of Little Rock.

Thompson said the outages were caused by high winds that brought down trees, snapped poles or caused lines to flap into each other. He said some transformers were struck by lightning.

The outage numbers were from the first wave of storms.

Thompson said crews were getting out to assess damage and begin repairs.

In the initial wave of storms, winds hit 62 mph at Bentonville, bringing down trees. High winds also felled trees and power lines at Rogers. Mountain Home reported large limbs blown down from of trees, along with penny-sized hail, while wind damage was also reported at Viola and Cushman.

During the evening and nighttime hours, southwest Arkansas saw most of the action, as another line of storms moved in from southeast Oklahoma.

At Arkadelphia, trees were blown down and part of the roof of a dormitory at Henderson State University was blown off, the weather service said. Outside town, in the suburb of Caddo Valley, four large trees were reported blown over.

At Murfreesboro, shingles were blown off homes and trees were downed, the weather service said, while a tree was blown onto U.S. 270 about a mile east of Hot Springs.

Further to the north, a tree was blown atop and mobile home and power lines were downed at the community of Cove in Logan County, and at Caulksville trees were blown down onto Arkansas 23. U.S. 71 in Logan County also was a recipient of a tree, courtesy of the wind, the weather service said.

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