Storm Damage in Jonesboro - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Marsha Mays Reporting

Storm Damage in Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR -- Around 6:54 Tuesday night, trained storm spotters reported what look like a tornado touching down on the eastern side of Jonesboro. It touched down at the Aramark Uniform Building near the city's industrial park, and left a mess in it's path.

The sun was out, the skies in Jonesboro were fairly clear and in minutes, things drastically changed.

"It was fine. It just felt like it was just calm out there. It hit just like that out of nowhere," says Mark Burrow, who was working inside the building during the storm.

"Out of nowhere, this big wind hit the side of the building. I hollered take cover," says Scott Rhein, another employee inside the building during the storm.

And they did. With only seconds to get to a safe spot, they said their reaction was just instinct.

"My thoughts were if the roof came down, it was pretty tall, so I dove into a cart that was right next to me and he dove into an office desk," says Rhein.

After waiting a few minutes, they stepped outside only to see the damage they had just survived.

"We could see debris floating in the air, in the sky. I had no idea what had happened," says Rhein.

Their personal vehicles were tossed up against the fence, trailers and trucks overturned, debris everywhere, and the back of the building basically demolished, but through it all, both made it out ok.

"I was just thanking God we didn't get hurt. It was just a scary feeling, didn't really know what to think," adds Burrow.

The National Weather Service will be here Wednesday to take a look at the damage and determine whether this was caused by either straight line winds or infact a tornado.

Meanwhile, just up the road from the Aramark building, a Region 8 baseball team got caught in the storm's path.  Fortunately, none of the members of the Gosnell High School baseball team were injured, but that wasn't the case for one of their coaches, who was treated at a local hospital for abrasions from flying glass.  The team's bus was traveling back home to Mississippi County when the storm hit.  The bus driver pulled the vehicle off the road and into the parking lot of the Exxon convenience store on Commerce Drive and the team made it inside before strong winds hit the bus with a fury.  "I was scared to death.  We were inside and all of a sudden the door flew open and all of the stuff fell off and glass came through.  We looked outside and all the windows were shattered out of our bus, and our coach came in with cuts on his arm," said player Zach Ezell.

After the storm subsided, Gosnell's team was able to make it's way home after being loaned another bus by the Nettleton School District.

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