SCOTLAND, Ark. — Leveled homes, overturned vehicles and uprooted trees were scattered across central Arkansas on Saturday after several tornadoes ripped through the state, killing a woman and injuring two dozen others, authorities said.
At least one person drowned after heavy rain fell in western Arkansas, said Renee Preslar, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
The woman killed by a tornado was among three people in one of several homes destroyed by the Friday night storms in the small community of Scotland, about 75 miles north of Little Rock, said Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley. The two other people inside the house were hurt, and one remained hospitalized Saturday, the county’s emergency management coordinator said. The person’s condition hasn’t been released.
A large pig rooted through debris of a fallen home and demolished hog pen in Scotland, Ark., on Saturday morning, while chain saws buzzed nearby as fallen trees were cleared from roadways.
“It will never look the same here again, but our people help each other out,” Bradley said. “We’ll get through this.”
Ronnie Lindsey, 44, sifted through the rubble of the trailer that he shared with his brother. Lindsey was in Mayflower when the storm hit, and he said his brother, a paraplegic, sought safety in a nearby storm shelter. The storm destroyed their trailer, littering nearby fields with debris, but it spared the five pigs they had been raising. One, named Bacon, wandered through the wreckage Saturday morning.
Lindsey said he didn’t know what the brothers would do next.
“There ain’t insurance here, and who can afford it?” he said.
Severe damage was reported in broad swaths from near the Missouri border to the north to Saline County about 20 miles south of Little Rock, said Brian Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Little Rock. But officials were working Saturday to determine exactly how many twisters hit.
“There appear to be at least a half-dozen tracks, but in some cases there may have been one long track,” Smith said. “We’re out there trying to determine exactly what happened.”
Bob Parent, a high school teacher and bus driver, said he and his wife, Kathy, were sitting in the living room of their home in Scotland on Friday night when the power went out and they heard the tornado approaching.
“We barely got inside the doorway of the kitchen when it hit,” Parent said. “We hunkered down on the floor. I covered her up and the house went away around us.”