Update: May 8 Pope County Tornado Rated EF-1

Published 05/09 2014 10:27AM

Updated 05/09 2014 06:04PM

Update (3:55 p.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The National Weather Service (NWS) has rated a Thursday night tornado in Pope County an EF-1.

The NWS says damage was found from 2.4 miles north-northeast of Russellville to 3.7 miles northeast of the city.

The storm destroyed a chicken house and a mobile home that was flipped. It also knocked down huge tree limbs, damaging a house-turned 11-unit apartment building  in Russellville.

Original story (9:00 a.m.):
POPE COUNTY/RUSSELLVILLE, AR - Thursday night storm damage just north of Russellville might have been caused by a brief tornado.

That's according to a storm report from the National Weather Service office in Little Rock.

The storm struck shortly before 9 p.m., destroying a mobile home on Sparksford Dr. at Highway 124. Officials say the owners of the mobile home had left only yesterday on a vacation. Their two cats and one dog survived the storm.

The mobile home is on Sparksford Barn property, which also saw substantial damage to at least two barns. Pieces of the barn roofs can be seen around the pasture and in trees. 

Meanwhile, in Russellville, an old house turned into an 11-unit apartment building at 400 E. 3rd St., was seriously damaged.

Our content partner River Valley Leader (RVL) reported Thursday night that initial reports were that occupants were trapped in the apartments, but upon the arrival of firefighters all were accounted for. Some of those residents told RVL they thought a tornado had struck the building as the tree crashed down. The occupant of the apartment struck by the tree reportedly escaped the apartment just seconds before the tree fell down, taking a portion of the rear of the apartment with it.

A photo (see below) sent into our newsroom Thursday night showed several trees down in the backyard of a home on Highway 124 near Center Valley.

Thursday night storm report from the National Weather Service:
0843 PM     TSTM WND DMG     3 N RUSSELLVILLE        POPE AR         LAW ENFORCEMENT
NUMEROUS TREES BLOWN DOWN. A PROPANE TANK WAS BLOWN INTO THE SIDE OF A MOBILE HOME. ANOTHER MOBILE HOME WAS BLOWN OFF THE FOUNDATION. IT IS POSSIBLE THIS MAY HAVE BEEN A BRIEF TORNADO.

The National Weather Service office in Little Rock described the storm this way:
A bow echo (backward C-shaped line of storms) formed to the southwest of Russellville (Pope County) around 830 pm CDT. Not long after, the north end of the bow started rotating, and it appears a brief weak tornado was spawned a few miles northeast of town. Trees were uprooted and at least one mobile home was flipped. Power was knocked out to at least 1,000 customers.


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