JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The National Weather Service in Memphis surveyed storm areas of northeast Arkansas Friday, confirming one small tornado that briefly touched down in Poinsett County. The NWS confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down over an open field east of Waldenburg.
That was one of several tornado-warned storms that swiped across Region 8 Thursday night. By midnight, most of the storms were east of the Mississippi River. The strong line of thunderstorms brought damaging winds, heavy rain and small hail.
According to Harrisburg Police Chief Gary Hefner, the storms severely damaged a Fred's store on the northern edge of the city. The damage appeared to have been from straight line winds. He said the winds also damaged the Jennings Law Firm next door.
Limbs were also knocked off of trees in the Trumann area. Just south of Jonesboro, the damaging winds knocked down power poles along U.S. 63 between Jonesboro and Bay near the Nestle Road exit.
Earlier Thursday, multiple tornado warnings were issued for parts of central Arkansas. The storms knocked out power to thousands of customers in the evening hours.
According to the Associated Press, the National Weather Service said the control tower at Little Rock National Airport was evacuated briefly as a storm possibly containing a tornado passed by before entering the prairies of eastern Arkansas.
Utilities reported as many as 60,000 power outages at one time. Utility crews Craighead Electric Cooperative worked through Thursday night to restore scattered outages across the area according to their Facebook page.