Arkansas Weather

Two people were killed by falling trees in northeast Arkansas as a powerful storm system tore through the region and knocked over trees and utility lines.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Brandon Morris said one man died when a tree fell on a van in the Lawrence County town of Black Rock on Thursday. In Jonesboro, Craighead County Coroner Toby Emerson said a man died in his home when a tree fell on the structure. Names of the dead weren't released, pending relatives being notified.

The filing period for residents seeking disaster unemployment assistance after April's deadly storms is ending.

Claims by those affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began in Faulkner County April 27 must be filed by Monday.

Residents must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster they no longer have a job, a place to work or could not get to their place of work because of the damage.

Arkansas' congressional delegation says Gov. Mike Beebe has added 11 counties to the state's major disaster declaration request to help in the recovery from last month's deadly storm.

The two senators and four U.S. House members say in a news release that they wrote to President Barack Obama and the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier Monday in support of Beebe's request.

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Cleanup is underway after storms moved through Arkansas Thursday night, bringing down trees and causing scattered power outages.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a weak tornado touched down in the western part of the state.

“There was a mobile home in the Russellville area in Pope County that received some damage due to some high winds,” said Kathy Wright, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. There were no reports of injuries.

No injuries or deaths have been reported after more than a half-foot of rain inundated western Arkansas in a 24-hour period.

The National Weather Service says Mena received 5.68 inches of rain in a four-hour period Thursday with a daily total of more than 7 inches. The weather service says the relentless downpour caused creeks and streams to overflow and flooding over roads.

Several people had to be rescued from the high waters, and flash flood emergencies were issued until the rainfall ended Thursday night.

Leaders in Faulkner County say a preliminary assessment shows that 328 homes were destroyed in Sunday's tornado.

Faulkner County Attorney David Hogue says 710 homes have been assessed so far after the EF4 tornado hit the county. Along with the destroyed homes, the assessment also found 111 homes with major damage, 231 homes with minor damage and 40 homes otherwise affected.

Those numbers are preliminary as assessments continue in the county.

Residents of central Arkansas who lost power during a tornado are being offered a chance to charge their electronic devices at mobile generators deployed near heavily damaged areas.

AT&T says it has set up a temporary cell tower near Mayflower and now has six sites set up as charging stations. The company reminds people that text messages go through quicker than phone calls when the call volume is heavy.

In Mayflower, the charging stations are at the high school and middle school.

In Vilonia, the stations are at City Hall and the Beryl Baptist Church.

The National Weather Service is continuing its survey of the deadly tornado that struck Arkansas on Sunday.

Warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson says surveys of the storm track will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. Two forecasters also plan to fly the track with the Civil Air Patrol on Wednesday.

Robinson says the tornado is now considered at least an EF3 but a final rating isn't expected until late Wednesday.

People walk between destroyed houses in Mayflower, Ark.
Danny Johnston/AP

The closest hospital to the deadly tornado that struck central Arkansas says it's treated about 100 patients for storm-related injuries.

Conway Regional Medical Center said Monday morning that nine of those patients were admitted to the hospital and another 10 people were transferred to hospitals in Little Rock.

Conway is in between the cities of Mayflower and Vilonia, where a massive tornado caused widespread damage Sunday night.

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A state agency has raised the death toll from a huge tornado that cut a sporadic 80-mile path through central Arkansas to 16.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reported on its website early Monday that there are now 10 confirmed deaths from Sunday's tornado in Faulkner County. There are still five confirmed deaths in Pulaski County and one in White County.

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