Weather damage leaves uneven trail in NWA

Utility crews work on power lines early Tuesday morning in Pea Ridge.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
Utility crews work on power lines early Tuesday morning in Pea Ridge. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)

Something left a 200-yard-wide trail of damage through the Blue Spring Heritage Center in Carroll County, though it is hard to tell what did it, said manager John Cross Jr.

"I've seen straight-line winds before, but this left trees that fell in opposite directions," Cross said in a phone interview Tuesday. The damage included six trees down at the heritage center, which is a botanical garden northwest of Eureka Springs.

"I don't know how we didn't have utilities down," he said. "We have trees lying right under power lines."

He thinks the damage came from a tornado, but the swath it cut skips from place to place, Cross said.

"I can see twisted tree tops where it climbed up the hill and 30 or 40 trees down, but it's not one continuous path."

Cross' family owns the center and is cleaning up the damage, including damaged buildings, he said.

"The garden itself is good, though we'll have to replace one or two beds," he said.

"We'll be open Friday. We need the money."

"Whatever it was, it was a doozy," Cross said. "We have 100-pound benches blown over."

Meanwhile, the Benton County Road Department cleared 33 downed trees Tuesday, county communication director Melody Kwok said.

"Garfield is the main area" for damage, Kwok said.

The northeastern Benton County town saw the most trees down and a mobile home there was damaged, she said.

National Weather Service alerts from 12:39 a.m. Tuesday warned of a line of severe thunderstorms from three miles southeast of Gateway, a town in Benton County on the Missouri state line, to five miles northwest of Farmington. The line was moving east at 70 mph causing wind gust of 60 mph. Although the weather service reports warned of conditions where tornadoes were possible, the records show no alert of tornadoes reported or seen on radar in Benton, Washington or Carroll counties.

Pete Snyder, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tulsa, said the service was told the mobile home was damaged about 12:36 a.m. Tuesday. Another building suffered wind damage about 2 miles north of Beaver Lake, he said.

Centerton in Benton County had a light pole blown down and a fence blown over, according to the weather service. There was also damage to a metal shed there, Snyder said.

In Pea Ridge, school traffic to the local primary, middle and junior high schools had to reroute as two primary east-west routes -- Patton and McCulloch streets -- were closed because of debris. Trees and tree limbs were down on streets, houses, sheds and vehicles. Electric power poles were broken with some live power lines on the ground. There were also reports of damage to a gas line and some street signs were damaged, but there were no injuries reported.

Bethany Harvey of Pea Ridge said a tree hit her house, damaging the roof and ceiling that let rain leak in. Pea Ridge Street Department Superintendent Monte Keene said numerous streets were closed initially because of trees down. Crews began working soon after 1 a.m. and continued throughout the morning.

The weather service received one report of a destroyed metal shed in the Brentwood community of southeastern Washington County, according to Snyder. Yet Washington County largely missed weather damage, said Tad Sours, the county government's communications director.

"It was weird," Sours said. "It went north of us and it went south of us."

Road crews and county emergency services had no damage to report Tuesday, Sours said.

Blue Eye, a town in far northern Carroll County, also reported a metal shed destroyed and damage to home siding, according to the weather service.

  photo  Workers assess damage Tuesday in Pea Ridge after storms hit the area hard. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  A tree rests on a home Tuesday in Pea Ridge after it fell during early morning storms. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  A tree rests on a home Tuesday in Pea Ridge after it fell during early morning storms. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  A tree is seen near the road Tuesday in Pea Ridge after it fell during early morning storms. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  Damage is Tuesday in Pea Ridge after early morning storms. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  Damage is Tuesday in Pea Ridge after early morning storms. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 
  photo  Utility crews work on power lines early Tuesday morning in Pea Ridge. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Annette Beard)
 
 

Upcoming Events