The tight-knit community of Mountainburg is picking up the pieces after an EF2 tornado with winds up to 125 mph ripped through the Crawford County town on Friday, April 13.
A total of 10 homes, five of which were not insured, were destroyed, according to Brad Thomas, director of the Crawford County Emergency Management Department.
Another 160 structures were damaged and more than 2,000 were left without power, Thomas said. Most power had been restored by Monday afternoon, he said.
An account has been opened at Citizens Bank & Trust for donations for disaster recovery for the community of Mountainburg. The account information is City of Mountainburg, Disaster Recovery Account.
Donations may be made at any of Citizens Bank & Trust’s seven locations.
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency funds will not be available for those who suffered damage, Thomas said.
“Unfortunately, the assistance is based on uninsured property,” he said. “We did not meet the criteria because most of those affected had insurance.”
The tornado tore through the Mountainburg area shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. It developed during a line of severe weather that moved through the River Valley.
Thomas said the tornado originated on Whitson Lane just off Arkansas 282 and ended to the north on God’s Ranch Road.
County Sheriff Ron Brown said first responders received three emergency calls for people who were trapped in their homes and had to be extricated by the fire department.
Brown also said three people were transported to an area hospital, including one who was unconscious, as a result of the tornado. A fourth person — a woman who went into labor during the storm — was transported to an area hospital by EMS personnel, he said.
Mountainburg Police Chief Vincent Clamser said “a massive amount of debris” was on U.S. 71, the main roadway through which traffic moves in and out of Mountainburg, following the storm.
Thomas said officials with the American Red Cross housed two families in Warren’s Rec Room in Alma on Friday night. The two families were moved there after the Mountainburg Elementary School, which was originally supposed to house anyone displaced from the storm, was without power.