High winds tear up power lines and buildings around Jonesboro

Road Closed signs on Highway 63.
Road Closed signs on Highway 63.

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – High winds that ripped through Region 8 Friday morning left behind a wake of scattered destruction.

Trouble started very early according to Bay Mayor Darrell Kirby. "We got up right around Three-Thirty, 4 o'clock with the wind blowing, then the power went out."

Kirby said the city had installed more generators in the past couple of years, the city hall, fire station and police station and city wells were all supported by generators and the center of the city reverberated with their sounds.

Kirby said calls were coming into the police who then asked for more help.

Kirby, "The police called 911 dispatch and paged our Fire Department out to help with the downed lines and trees."

At one time nearly half of the town was dark a result of lines going down on 158 toward Lundsford. Trees fell and blocked the Old Bay Highway and the trees in front of the city library were stripped of branches.

Outside of town the tractor shed on the Harvey Rogers farm took a blast that shoved the shed off supports and stripped about half of the metal roof off. The framework collapsed and was supported by a cotton picker.

I Jonesboro, S & S Door Company lost an awning on an old office building and several roll up doors were either bulged out or bent nearly in half pointing in.

At the Central Community Church outside Harrisburg the alarm summoned the pastor Milton Cowling to the building.

Cowling, "The alarm went off about 4:15 and alerted us of course in the dark we didn't know that something had rolled across the roof and punched holes in it."

The "something" turned out to be a furnace vent in the gym that took a large corner with it leaving a gaping hole in the roof. As the vent rolled it's sharp edges poked several holes in the roof of the gym and sanctuary which allowed unwanted rain to get into the building.

Cowling, "Our gym is pretty wet and the East side of the auditorium is saturated with water."

Maintenance personnel said the wiring looked to be okay but the sheet rock would have to go and the carpet would need to get the water sucked off it quickly to avoid mold or replacement.

Cowling says that since his members helped re-model the building from a school this fix should not be to much of a problem Cowling says they will have church on Sunday as usual.

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