Storms Leave Trail of Damage Across Arkansas

AUGUST 22, 2006 - Posted at 3:41 p.m. CDT

CONWAY, AR - Residents in much of northern and central Arkansas are cleaning up debris and making repairs after severe thunderstorms hit yesterday.  The storms caused widespread power outages and damage to schools and universities.

At the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, President Lu Hardin declared a state of emergency after the storm blew off a section of a student dormitory.

Nineteen students had to be moved out of State Hall when rain flooded elven of the third-floor rooms.  They stayed in a hotel overnight.  University officials hope to have the students back in their rooms today.

Heavy rains also caused water to collect on the university campus, leading to water damage in the Prince Center, the administrative building and the library.

In northwest Arkansas, winds reached 70 miles per hour, toppling trees and knocking out power to about 6,000 homes and businesses in Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers.

The first day back to school brought flooding near an elementary school and the new Har-Ber High School in Springdale.  Winds ripped away part of the cafeteria at a middle school.

The storm also caused flash flooding and scattered power outages in Mountain Home and Bull Shoals in Baxter County.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)