Tornado-Bearing Storms Spread Damage Across Parts of Arkansas, Texas

March 23, 2020

Severe storms, including at least one possible tornado, struck parts of Arkansas on the evening of March 19, damaging homes and causing widespread damage to trees and power lines.

Additionally, the National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes are to blame for damage in parts of rural North Texas on the previous night.

In Arkansas, Boone County 911 Director Daniel Bolen told Springfield, Missouri, television station KYTV that the storm damaged several homes. It knocked down power lines, leading to outages in the area.

At least one home was destroyed and another lost its roof to a storm that struck a remote Ozark Mountains area near Pyatt in northern Arkansas, near the Missouri border, said Brice Smith, Marion County’s emergency management coordinator. At least one person was sent to a hospital in nearby Harrison, Arkansas, with minor injuries, he said.

In Texas, weather service survey team examined damage caused by the storm late Wednesday night south of Graham, about 80 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Team members concluded the damage caused was consistent with a tornado with winds of 105 to 110 mph.

The EF-1 tornado moved northeastward toward Lake Bridgeport and on to the town of Alvord. The storm tore metal siding from industrial buildings, downed utility lines and caused widespread tree damage.

To the west, in the Abilene area, the weather service confirmed at least two tornadoes, both rated at least EF2 with winds of 111 to 135 mph.

The first was south of Merkel, 16 miles west of Abilene. where there was extensive tree damage and damage to several wind turbines. It moved on to Tye, where a small home was destroyed.

A second tornado was confirmed near Hamby, nine miles northeast of Abilene, where cars and trucks were tossed around the parking lot at the Robertson Unit and Middleton Unit state prisons.

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