JONESBORO, Ark. — No one was injured when a short-lived tornado swept through Jonesboro, damaging an apartment complex and downing trees and power lines in the northeast Arkansas city.
The National Weather Service in Memphis, Tennessee, said the Monday morning storm had winds of up to 105 mph (168 kph). More severe weather moved through central and northern Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon as well, with electricity knocked out to thousands of people. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Jonesboro E911 Director Jeff Presley said the city was fortunate that Monday’s storm struck early when few people were on the road, adding that the tornado spun up with very little warning.
“Something like this is pretty rare,” Presley said. “This storm snuck up on everyone.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Chiuppi said the tornado formed so quickly that forecasters were unable to issue a warning ahead of time.
“Radar did not show anything,” he said. “It was only on the ground for about 20 to 30 seconds.”
Billy Everett told The Jonesboro Sun that he and his wife, Stacey, were awoken early Monday by the sound of the storm coming in.
“Around 6 (a.m.), we woke up, the house was shaking, and it was over within 30 seconds,” he said. “All I heard was the wind blowing, whistling.”
Stacey Everett said a 100-year-old tree outside their bedroom window had split down the middle.
“I’m still a little shaken up,” she said. “We are pretty thankful that all the damage went around the house and nothing happened to us.”
Forecasters said Monday’s tornado was the 33rd twister in Arkansas so far this year, but there have been no tornado-related deaths in the state in 2017.