Brandon Cogburn supplies the picture above (taken by his sister) of storm damage to the water treatment plant in Dierks (Howard County), hit last night. The second story of the building was sheared off. The National Guard reportedly was sending drinking water supplies. Brandon reports efforts are underway to find a way to tie into other water service in the region.
UPDATE -- VIDEO: A Sevier County Jail security camera caught film of the tornado tearing through town.
UPDATE II -- In Mena, where damage was heaviest and where three people died when a tornado hit homes and, in one case, a Masonic lodge, the Department of Emergency Management says 140 homes and five businesses were hit.
UPDATE III -- In case you missed it, our Mena correspondent, Cato, sent in an OK signal on another post that included an eyewitness report. It's on the jump here, too.
Photo below was supplied by the National Guard, which has 50 soldiers on the ground providing help.
Death and destruction.
Very, very depressing. Homes gone. Lives gone. Looks like a combat zone in that part that Mother Nature showed disfavor to.
We rode it out in our safe room. Louie is correct. No power. I have a generator in use and dsl is underground, of course. We were lucky. Minor damage to the house. Big, big trees down, streets blocked, houses crushed. Masonic Lodge gone. One died there. About two blocks from me. Much worse than the '93 tornado. Worse than our 2000 ice storm destruction. This time next year we will still be cleaning up. Sad.
Thanks for the concern. This was the first place I hit when I got generator cranked up.
Dang it, jazzy, all of this kept me out of your fair city today.
By the way, after reading the thread below, the courthouse is not destroyed but damaged. All the big trees on the lawn area are gone. City Hall may as well be gone. Schools closed (tonight was the Jr./Sr. prom), cafeteria gone at Middle School, destruction at our local hospital, a nursing home, local community college, US Motors, industrial park. Gawkers everywhere. Police are tightening their access. I liked to never have gotten home after going to get generator fuel. Luckily one of the deputies knows me and knows where I live.