JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – The National Weather Service says an EF-1 tornado slammed into the city of Tyronza in the early morning hours Monday.
An EF-1 rating means winds were anywhere between 86mph to 100mph.
As crews work to clear the debris, the city of Tyronza says food and water are available for those affected by the storms.
Shortly before noon, the city posted on social media that they have generators running at the city hall and senior center. Anyone who needs to charge their cell phones can go to these locations.
The city also has food and water available at the senior center for anyone in town who needs it.
Several people were taken to the hospital after a possible tornado tore through the Poinsett County town of Tyronza.
The National Weather Service said it would send a survey crew to the area to confirm if it was a tornado that touched down.
The storm hit around 6 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21.
Sheriff Kevin Molder said several buildings were “blown away,” including a Valero station near the school.
The National Weather Service reported five people were injured when the storm hit, two were from the collapse of the Valero gas station and store.
The elementary school, which is located near the store, also suffered damage.
Highway 118 at mile marker 6 was closed to traffic and all roads in town are closed to through-traffic.
Molder has a message for storm chasers and rubberneckers: Stay out of Tyronza.
“Don’t go looking for damage,” he said. “We have trees and powerlines down all across town.”
He said that crews were out looking for injuries and making rescues, and ambulances and emergency crews needed to get through the debris-cluttered streets.
“We need all the help we can get,” Molder said.
All of the streets of Tyronza are shut down, Fire Chief David Woods told Region 8 News.
“We got hit hard” he said, shortly after the storms tore through. “We don’t know how hard yet.”
He asked everyone to “stay off the streets” until they can clear the scene.
As of 9 a.m., the town had no power or cell phone service.
Due to the damage, Tyronza Elementary School was closed Monday.
Just before 6 a.m., the NWS issued a tornado warning for Poinsett and Mississippi Counties. At the height of the storm, a tractor-trailer rig overturned on Interstate 555 near Tyronza, according to an Arkansas State Police dispatch officer.
More than 1,400 customers lost power after severe storms rolled through Region 8.
At 4 a.m. Entergy Arkansas was reporting over 700 people without power in Poinsett, Sharp, and Baxter Counties.
By 5:30, that number had risen to more than 1,400.
Tyronza was not the only Region 8 town to see damage from Monday’s storms.
The National Weather Service reported a tree down in Monette in Craighead County.
A dispatch officer for Independence County told Region 8 News they received a few reports of “trees down on a few county roads.”
“We got off pretty light,” a Lawrence County dispatch officer told us.
The storms also brought heavy rains and lightning to parts of Randolph County, including Pocahontas.
For the latest power outages, or to report an outage in your area:
Clay County Electric
Northeast Arkansas Electric Coop
by Region 8 Newsdesk (2019, Oct 21)