High winds, hail, tornado form from storms in Arkansas - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

High winds, hail, tornado form from storms in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A tornado touched down in downtown Atkins this afternoon, as high winds and hail fell as a set of strong thunderstorms rolled through Arkansas.

Renee Preslar, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, says the tornado touched down near Highways 324 and 105, then stayed on the ground and passed into Conway County to the east.

Trained spotters reported a tornado on the ground near the Conway-Van Buren county line shortly after the tornado was reported at Atkins. Preslar says local officials were trying to assess damage from the tornado.

Spotters also reported seeing a tornado near Gassville and Wonderville in north-central Arkansas. Initial radio traffic from Baxter County sheriff's deputies said several people were injured in Gassville, as well as debris and "houses" blocking Highway 62 through the center of town. The injuries could not be confirmed.

An Arkansas State Police dispatcher says multiple car crashes slowed traffic on Interstate 40 near Atkins to a crawl. A tractor-trailer reportedly blew over in an eastbound lane of the interstate between Atkins and Blackwell. 

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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