Tornado confirmed in Garrett Bridge


A tornado rated EF1 has been confirmed to have hit the Garrett Bridge area in Lincoln County as part of a line of storms that moved across the state Wednesday.

National Weather Service employees surveyed the 6.7-mile track of damage left by the storm and determined that a tornado had indeed struck the area, according to a report on the NWS website. The same line of storms Wednesday spawned at least three tornadoes in northern Arkansas, hitting the Van Buren County area between Scotland and Botkinburg the hardest.

In Lincoln County, officials reported no injuries but that between 15 and 30 homes were damaged and at least six destroyed.

“We were blessed,” said Sheila Magness, Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management coordinator.

Magness said Thursday that access to the hardest-hit areas was being limited to residents and first responders.

“There are so many trees and power lines down and the roads are blocked,” Magness said. “We have to make sure we get the power lines up for safety reasons.”

Magness said that homeowners affected by the storm are asked to separate their storm debris according to type and place it at the edge of their property to be picked up by the Lincoln County Road Department. The service will continue for the next two weeks.

“It is specific to storm debris,” Magness said. “Nothing else will be picked up. We ask that residents separate debris into different classes and bring it to the right of way.”

Elsewhere in the state, the other tornadoes that have been confirmed by the National Weather Service from Wednesday’s storms were:

- An EF2 tornado that covered 17.4 miles from near Scotland to Botkinburg in Van Buren County, causing major damage to nearly a dozen homes, downing numerous trees and destroying a church near Botkinburg;

- An EF2 tornado that hit the Izard County community of Mt. Olive, shifting a log house off its foundation and causing minor damage to numerous homes;

- And an EF1 tornado that struck just northwest of the community of Rushing in Stone County to almost 5 miles north of town, leaving a 4.6 mile track of damage that included a couple of chicken houses but mainly caused tree damage.

Across the state, there were no fatalities but about a dozen injuries were reported, according to the Weather Service.