MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR - Tornadoes that touched down in Arkansas on Primary Election Day took the lives of eleven people and disrupted voting.
An Atkins couple and their 11-year-old daughter were killed when a powerful twister hit their home. In addition to that family, another Pope County resident was killed. In Region 8, two deaths each were reported in Izard county, and one each in Baxter and Stone counties. Deaths were also reported in Conway and Van Buren counties.
A spokesman for Governor Beebe said up to 30 Arkansas National Guardsmen will be sent to Pope County today to help with recovery efforts and security. The Pope County sheriff's office said emergency crews went door-to-door to check on residents in Atkins. Power lines blocked traffic to the community along the Arkansas River.
Amateur radio operators reported that a tornado struck a hospital in Mountain View, in Stone County, forcing it to close its emergency room.
In Gassville, the Baxter County sheriff's office said debris, including parts of houses, blocked Highway 62. The town was sealed off because of the possibility that gas leaks could result in an explosion. A polling site in Gassville was closed as the storm approached, and several polling locations in Conway County also shut down because of the storms.
The storms also hit hard in Sharp County, where this widespread damage reported in the Highland community.
About 19,000 Entergy customers were without power statewide, most of them around Russellville.