NWS confirms tornado with 110 mph winds touched down in Higginson

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

WHITE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The National Weather Service confirms an EF-1 packing 110 mile an hour winds touched down Tuesday night in Higginson, damaging dozens of homes.

The storm's path measured 1.5 miles long and 120 yards wide, according to an email Wednesday from White County OEM spokesperson Terri Lee.

According to Higginson Police Chief Eric Patterson said at least 40-60 structures were damaged throughout the county with damage mainly in the Higginson and Kensett areas.

Patterson told Region 8 News that almost half the town is still without power.

Lee said at least four people have been taken to the hospital, with crews working to set up shelter. At least three homes were damaged and Lee said every home on Pruitt Road has been damaged.

Overall, between 10 and 15 people were injured in White County, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reported. All of the injuries are considered minor according to Chief Patterson.

Officials are meeting with the American Red Cross to plan the next step to help people impacted by the storms. Lee said a shelter is being set up at the First United Methodist Church on Main and Market Streets in Searcy. However, people must register with the American Red Cross before staying.

People wishing to check on family members can call the American Red Cross hotline at 1-800-733-2769.

There is not a timeframe in which people can return to their homes, Lee said, noting the National Weather Service will be in White County at 9 a.m. Wednesday to look at storm damage.

Earlier, the Arkansas State Police reported "multiple" people were trapped in homes after a tornado touched down near Higginson in White County.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for White County just after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Chief Patterson said the alarms sounded 15-20 minutes before the storm hit.

Patterson tells Region 8 News they have "a bunch of damage" to several homes and cars. The storm flipped over at least one car, he said.

His officers are going door-to-door, checking on people.

They are asking the public to stay away from the area unless they are coming with chainsaws to help.

ASP confirms that no one is allowed in or out of Higginson. They say most roads have debris on them.

The storm downed trees and power lines, leaving several areas of White County without electricity.

Police in Searcy and Bald Knob have not reported any injuries in their communities.

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