Strong Storms Damage Region 8

January 13, 2005--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

Craighead County, AR--Early morning strong winds cause damage in parts of Northeast Arkansas. Strong January thunderstorms are a rarity even in Region 8 but early this morning, a cell of particularly strong storms produced damaging winds in parts of east Jonesboro and eastern Craighead County. While Region 8 was fast asleep Mother Nature was hard at work causing chaos.

"It sounded just like a locomotive coming right through the wall," said Terry Shirley Sr. of Monette.

Strong winds ripped through the area during the early morning hours tearing down the marquee at the Dollar Tree in Jonesboro, tipping over a motor home at the airport, and inflicting major damage on the VFW Post.

"Apparently a tornado hit and tore off most of the roof we have leaks on the inside and we are probably going to be closed down for a while," said Buddy O'Connor Commander of the VFW Post.

Jonesboro wasn't the only area hard hit by these storms Leachville, Manila and Monette also suffered damage. For one Monette family last nights storms were a rude awakening. Pictures fell off the walls, the wind was whipping and then just like that it was over. 

"We could hear some one hollering and I come around the corner of the house with my spotlight and my nephew and his girlfriend come running from the trailer," said Shirley.

Around 2:30 Friday morning the Shirley family said they heard sounds that sounded just like a tornado that when this storm roared through the area tearing this trailer in two.

"It had blowed their trailer up and they were inside of it and they crawled out of the bottom of it and was running through the yard trying to get up here they was just scared to death," said Shirley.

Bobby Shirley Jr. and his girlfriend were inside the trailer when the winds destroyed it.

"Them two down there in that trailer had the good Lord on their side, we was lucky because it didn't blow our house away but they lost everything they got and they are lucky to be alive," said Shirley.

Although Region 8 suffered damage across the area luckily no one was seriously injured.

Bobby Shirley Jr., who was in the trailer, was not injured during the storm but was later, rushed to the hospital after he suffered a seizure later in the morning. His girlfriend suffered a broken toe.