JONESBORO, Ark. (WMC) - The Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro was hit hard by a tornado Saturday afternoon along with a number of other businesses and homes. A WMC Action News 5 team headed to Arkansas to view the damage.
This is essentially ground zero, the epicenter for where the large and powerful tornado struck Jonesboro.
Officials say the mall was relatively empty, luckily most of the stores were closed when this hit in the middle of the afternoon and on a Saturday, locals say this mall would have been busy.
Best Buy has been completely flattened. Cars in the parking lot have smashed windows and severe damage.
Over about 50 yards away is where Barnes and Noble used to be. Right now only six people have been reported injuries by this tornado and officials say they feel thankful it was only a few injured.
We talked to one man who was in his car trying to get to safety when the tornado went right past him.
“You couldn’t see the road anymore. It was wild and then on the corner of Harrisburg road there’s a Burger King and then the wind of the tornado through the car that I was into the right and next thing I know I ended up on Carraway Road and I don’t know how," said Darian Mcray, "It’s scary like honestly man. It’s really humbling like it makes you realize that things can really change in an instant and it makes you appreciative of what you got honestly.”
“We’re still dealing with shock and adrenaline," said Craighead County Judge Marvin Day. "But yes I am very thankful it’s not worse and my prayers go out to everybody that’s affected. We’re doing our part for you. And yeah we do feel lucky at this point.”
Day said the north side of town was hit extremely hard.
Starting minutes ago, first responders began going door to door to check on people and make sure there are no other injuries or any deaths.
One thing we have already seen at the mall is a tremendous community response. There are volunteers out here picking up debris, people helping cook food for first responders and more.
There is a curfew in effect that started at 7 p.m. and goes until 7 Sunday morning. Officials do not want people out tonight with all the damage, debris and downed power lines around.
Jonesboro City Communications Director Bill Campbell said a 7 p.m. curfew will be in effect Sunday evening as well.