LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock was hit by what's being described as a "catastrophic" tornado by meteorologists on Friday, March 31 as severe storms moved throughout Arkansas.
The day was active as Arkansas saw a powerful storm move through the state that saw several tornado warnings and potential tornados in other towns.
The tornado in Little Rock was confirmed around 2:25 p.m. over the Reservoir Road area. It went from Little Rock to Jacksonville.
There have been reports of lots of damage in the Little Rock metro area and we are working to confirm the extent of the damage.
The National Weather Service has preliminarily categorized the tornado in Little Rock as an EF3, with winds up to 165 miles per hour.
Though there are no known fatalities in Little Rock, it was confirmed that there have been at least 50 people injured.
There were about 2,648 structures impacted during the tornado.
Most of the damage happened in West Little Rock before moving into North Little Rock and then towards Sherwood and Jacksonville.
UAMS officially declared a mass casualty event following the tornado.
Hospitals in Little Rock reported a surge in patients, which included; CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock and Sherwood, Baptist in Little Rock and North Little Rock, and UAMS.
While a source within MEMS initially estimated 600 injured, Mayor Frank Scott said only 24 people have been hospitalized as of 6:18 p.m.
One person has died in North Little Rock, according to the Pulaski County Coroner's Office.
The City of North Little Rock has implemented a curfew for April 1-3 between 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. for the following areas:
- Burns Park
- Sierra Madre
- Ranch Estates
- Alta Vista
- Donovan Briley Road area
- Remount Road
- Kierre Road area
- Indian Hills
- Shady Valley
- Windsor Valley
So far, four people have been killed in Wynne due to the tornado and severe storm, according to the St. Francis County coroner.
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders activated the Arkansas National Guard a little after 4:00 p.m. They will be deployed to areas that have been impacted by the storm.
The governor said they will "spare no resource to assist with response and recovery efforts for Arkansans impacted."
A Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Joe Biden on Sunday morning. Sanders thanked Biden for a "speedy approval."
The declaration will allow for direct federal assistance, hazard mitigation, and assistance in Cross, Lonoke, and Pulaski counties.
Pulaski County and Little Rock both declared a state of emergency in response to the damage sustained. Rescue crews are in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, and Jacksonville.
Among the damage includes downed power lines, destroyed homes, and many people without power.
The mayor has asked residents of Little Rock to avoid a wide swath of the city, which was hit by the tornado and damaging winds.
The following roads are currently closed:
- Markham from Rodney Parham to Napa Valley
- Rodney Parham from Markham to Napa Valley
- Cantrell from I-430 to Reservoir Road
- Shackleford/Arkansas Valley to Markham
The city has set up a temporary emergency shelter at Hall High School for anyone displaced by the storm.
POWER OUTAGES: Check power outages here
There has also been damage reported in Wynne where there is damage at the high school.
Gov. Sanders has requested the following Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden:
- Individual assistance and public assistance categories A and B for Cross, Lonoke, and Pulaski Counties
- Direct federal assistance
- Hazard Mitigation statewide
According to FEMA, residents whose homes or businesses were damaged can apply for assistance here or by calling (800) 621-FEMA.
We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.