Severe Weather Rolls Through Region 8

April 24, 2003
Posted at: 10:22 p.m. CDT

JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. -- Severe weather moved through much of Region 9 Thursday afternoon and evening with the first areas affected including Jackson County.

The county was placed under a thunderstorm watch. Within 15 minutes, emergency management officials say they were under a tornado warning, and members of Troop B of the Arkansas State Police, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and other emergency personnel went to work to protect lives.

Media relations officer Sean Davis says storm spotters were then dispatched throughout the county. Soon there after, spotters were calling in reports of nasty weather throughout the county.

"We immediately opened up the comm-room and started watching the radar," Davis said. "(We) started tracking seven different cells; three of which were pretty severe."

The cells produced dark clouds, lightning and heavy rain.

"We did have some phone calls," Owens said. "One individual from Oakland Hill, which is south of Possum Grape call and said that he saw two individual tails of tornados come out of the sky."

Strong winds broke limbs out of trees. Most drivers had to deal with flooded streets. A few Jackson County residents reported seeing hail.

"No damage reports," Owens said. "We did have two individual reports of some pea-sized hail, some in Swifton, some out on (Jackson) County Road 69 coming' outside of the county line from Independence County. That was confirmed."

Around 7 p.m., most of the storm moved through, replacing dark colors with a rainbow.

Davis also confirmed to KAIT that a funnel cloud did form in Jackson County, but did not touch down.