Overnight storms pummel eastern Arkansas leaving widespread damage

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

FORREST CITY, AR (WMC) - Powerful storms pummeled parts of the Mid South, leaving a trail of destruction.

In St. Francis County, Arkansas, local officials declared an emergency, as heavy wind and rain swept through.

The National Weather Service said preliminary survey results show straight line winds of around 100 miles per hour.

The hardest hit place was the Delta Regional Airport outside of Colt. The storms flattened hangars and tossed planes around like toys.

Shannon Hobbs, a pilot and member of the Delta Regional Airport Authority, said the storm destroyed six planes and all 12 hangars at the airport, which was built just a few years ago.

"It's just very sad," he said.

The airport wasn't the only location devastated. Winds ripped part of the roof off Michael Linam's family restaurant.

"We'll fix it back up," he said.

Stephanie Reagan said she and her husband had just seconds to run to safety when winds knocked over a massive tree, sending it crashing on their house.

"We took maybe seven steps into the bedroom and the ceiling and roof come down on us," she said. "It sounded like a train. I mean it was this huge roar."

The dresser in their bedroom covered them, saving their lives.

"We're just glad to be alive. I mean, there's not much we can do or say about it. God was with us," Reagan said.

Despite the widespread damage, St. Francis County Sheriff's Office said only one person had to be taken to the hospital.

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