Jonesboro Cleans Up After Sunday's Storm

July 5, 2004 -- Posted at 2:31 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- An unpredicted storm violently ripped through Northeast Arkansas Sunday afternoon, leaving behind downed trees and damaged property.

On Monday, some folks in Region 8 spent the holiday cleaning up the mess and putting back together the pieces. Some folks celebrating the Fourth of July had to put their fun on hold. Monday in Jonesboro you couldn't smell the grills, but you could hear the chainsaws.

Landlord Kim Abernathy spent her holiday picking up limbs from her rental property. "I'm just kind of moving some of the debris so the drive way can be used," said Abernathy.

The storm created a lot of work for the July holiday. Downed tree limbs and power lines caused for plenty to clean up Monday morning.

"Some of the tenants had called and said that their electricity was out. I think one of the branches had fallen over a power line, so apparently it was pretty bad for a little while," said Abernathy.
Shamika Arnold was working at Backyard Burgers in Jonesboro when the storm hit.
"It was unexpected, you know, real unexpected. When we were listening, they were just saying a storm. I was expecting it to rain, you know. It took everything. It just scared me," said Arnold.

Backyard Burger was just one of the many businesses in the path of the storm. They had extensive damage to their building and lost part of their fence.

"If it were a little bit stronger, ain't no telling," said Arnold.
The storm was fast moving and hard hitting, catching many off guard.
Sgt. Doug Forman of the Jonesboro Police Department said, "The storm moved down a path maybe East Nettleton Avenue. Just straight through the middle of the city going from west to east, it seemed to be the worst. I know we had a lot of large trees down on West Nettleton and then again, of course Liberty Bank on the other side of town on the East Highland drive, it had a lot of damage. So did Nettleton Baptist Church. That seemed to be the direct line the wind took through the middle of town."
So far no injuries have been reported, but the Jonesboro Police Department says that some folks are still with out power.
"Crews are out right now. They're trying to get all the limbs picked up and all of the debris that's in the roadway of course. I spoke with City Water and Light and there still a few people in town that don't have power back on and a few businesses too."
Some credit the holiday weekend for the little damage, saying it could have been worse.
"I don't think a lot of people were home over the holidays, so there weren't any cars damaged or any property as long as the tenants were concerned, so thankful for that," said Abernathy.
And for those in town, being smart can keep you alive.
"I noticed yesterday when the storm started coming through, a lot of people were coming outside watching the wind come through, that type of thing. There were limbs blowing everywhere. Take cover, go inside and get away from the windows," said Abernathy.

Backyard Burger expected to be open for business and City Water and Light also expects to have electricity restored to those who are with out it.