Strong storms hit the Mid-South, cause damage - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman and Dave Brown

Strong storms hit the Mid-South, cause damage

A semi lays on its side along I-40 Wednesday morning after being blown over during a morning storm. A semi lays on its side along I-40 Wednesday morning after being blown over during a morning storm.
The Dollar General store in Forrest City was damaged. The Dollar General store in Forrest City was damaged.

High winds from the round of weather that rolled through overnight and this morning tossed some 18-wheelers on I-40 around like toy trucks.

9-1-1 calls came pouring in to the Saint Francis County Sheriff's department early Wednesday morning.

"Well we received the first call around 4 o'clock," said St. Francis County Sheriff H.N. Green.

Most of those calls were coming from truck drivers along Interstate 40 between Forrest City and Wheatley. Some of them were trapped inside their 18-wheelers after high winds swept them off the interstate.

Five of them were within a mile of each other.

"Well just kind of overwhelmed, cause the first report we had was 8 tractor trailer rigs turned over on I-40," said Tad Bokker, with White Motor Towing.

By sunrise,Bokker had his work cut out for him. He was among the experts in charge of setting the trucks upright one by one, at times backing up traffic for miles. "But tornados this is unusual I've been in the business all my life and I've never seen this," he said.

The worst of of the structural damage was at a Dollar General store in Forrest City.

"Basically right now we're just getting it secured so that if more rain comes through we won't have any more damage," said building owner John Peeples.

The store was closed so no one got hurt. In fact, officials say even on the interstate no one was seriously injured.

Other parts of the Country weren't spared that fate.


One man died when an f-5 tornado ripped through Greensburg, Louisiana. Homes were peeled apart and debris scattered for miles in the tiny community northwest of New Orleans.

Another tornado ripped through Southern Mississippi.. A neighborhood in Lamar county - just west of Hattiesburg - was left in splinters. Six people were taken to the hospital.. None of their injuries were considered life threatening.

In Montgomery, Alabama, residents battled pounding rains and intense wind. They dodged pulled-up trees and sought shelter from ripped-open roofs

The morning headlines in Texas also included more high winds.


If you have pictures of damage from this morning's storm that you would like to share with Action News 5, click here to send us an email.

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