Updated on 31 March 2023 – On Friday, a powerful tornado hit Little Rock and other parts of central Arkansas. This caused extensive damage to buildings, trees, vehicles, and leaving almost 100,000 people without power. According to CBS 19, an estimated 600 people were injured. However, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. later clarified on Twitter that only 24 people had been hospitalized as of 6:18 p.m. Although there were no reports of fatalities at the time, Mayor Scott mentioned that the property damage was extensive.
Tornado that touched down in the western part of Little Rock
The tornado touched down in the western part of Little Rock. And destroyed a small shopping center that included a Kroger grocery store. The National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency around 2:30 p.m. local time, warning of possibly catastrophic damages. The tornado crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock. And surrounding cities, causing widespread damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock was operating at a mass casualty level. And several patients were transported to the hospital, with at least one person in critical condition. The Little Rock Fire Department reported heavy damage. And debris in the western end of the city and firefighters were performing rescue operations in the area.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency. She said that there was significant damage in the central part of the state. She also activated the National Guard to assist with response and recovery efforts. Nearly 94,000 people in the state are without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.
Two more tornadoes were confirmed in Iowa, damaging hail fell in Illinois, and wind-whipped grass fires blazed in Oklahoma as part of a massive storm system threatening a broad swath of the country that’s home to some 85 million people in the South and Midwest. It was too early to estimate the Iowa twisters’ size or how much damage they had caused. In Illinois, cars and homes had their windows smashed out from large chunks of hail in the area of Roanoke, northeast of Peoria.
This tornado is just one of many severe weather events that have impacted the United States in recent weeks. It is a stark reminder of the importance of preparedness. This takes necessary precautions to protect oneself and one’s property during these dangerous weather conditions.
Little Rock Past Tornado event
On the evening of March 1, 2022, a powerful tornado tore through the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. This left a trail of destruction in its wake. The tornado, which was rated EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, caused extensive damage to homes and businesses. As well as numerous injuries and fatalities.
Tornado that quickly gained strength
The tornado first touched down in the western part of Little Rock, near the intersection of Chenal Parkway and Bowman Road. It quickly gained strength as it moved northeast, with winds reaching speeds of up to 175 miles per hour. The storm cut a swath of destruction through the heart of the city, leaving a path of debris and destruction in its wake.
Homes and businesses along the tornado’s path suffered significant damage, with many buildings completely destroyed or severely damaged. In some cases, entire neighborhoods were leveled by the storm, leaving residents homeless and without basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter.
Emergency responders from across the region rushed to Little Rock to assist in the aftermath of the tornado. They worked tirelessly to rescue survivors, treat the injured, and clear debris from the streets. Despite their efforts, the storm claimed the lives of several people, and many more were injured.
Volunteers from across the state and the country arrived in the city to offer their support
In the days and weeks following the tornado, Little Rock residents banded together to begin the long process of rebuilding. Volunteers from across the state and the country arrived in the city to offer their support, providing assistance with everything from debris removal to feeding and housing displaced residents.
The city of Little Rock also received significant aid from state and federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These organizations worked closely with local officials to coordinate relief efforts and provide resources to those affected by the storm.
Despite the devastation wrought by the tornado, the people of Little Rock showed remarkable resilience and strength in the face of adversity. The city has made significant progress in rebuilding and recovery, and its residents continue to work together to ensure that their community emerges stronger than ever before.
In the wake of this tragedy, it is important to remember the importance of preparedness and safety measures in the face of severe weather events. Tornadoes can strike with little warning, and it is crucial for individuals and communities to have a plan in place to protect themselves and their loved ones. By working together and taking the necessary precautions, we can minimize the impact of severe weather events and ensure that our communities remain strong and resilient in the face of adversity.