JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT/Gray News) - The City of Jonesboro took a direct hit Saturday evening from a tornado that stayed on the ground for almost 10 to 20 miles.
A tornado cut through the Jonesboro area Saturday afternoon. (Source: KAIT)
As daylight began to shine on the damage, emergency officials said there were 22 injuries, two were required to be hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, and no casualties have been reported.
Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller said they have completed their search and rescue efforts, and have now switched to a recovery and cleanup effort.
Crews on Airport Road reported no injuries and only minor gas leaks from a few cars that were thrown upside-down. Jonesboro Airport has also been searched and cleared. Two airplanes there will require heavy machinery in order to move. Camfil, located at 3505 Airport Rd., has also been searched and cleared. Their factory took a direct hit also.
The City of Jonesboro will also be under a new curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday night into Monday morning. Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said if you are caught out during those times, you will be pulled over. Anyone going to and from work may be stopped but are okay.
The tornado ripped through Race and Caraway Streets, destroyed the Mall at Turtle Creek, numerous homes in neighborhoods, and continued on through Brookland, and did damage at the Arkansas-Missouri border.
Jonesboro officials continue to ask people to stay home, and to not come to sight-see the damage.
Miller said, “Jonesboro and people from all around Northeast Arkansas really rallied fast to give us a hand, and it was inspiring.”
The severe weather system Saturday afternoon first brought a reported tornado to the Jackson County area, with the National Weather Service issuing tornado warnings for the region.
A funnel cloud was reported near Cash around 4:47 p.m., with the storm arriving in the Jonesboro area around 5:20 p.m., according to the NWS.
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