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Tornado confirmed at Sheridan; high wind statewide

A tornado spurred by the storm system dumping snow on the Great Plains damaged several homes near Sheridan early Thursday, while strong winds following a line of violent thunderstorms knocked out power to tens of thousands of people across Arkansas.
SHERIDAN, Ark. (AP) - A tornado spurred by the storm system dumping snow on the Great Plains damaged several homes near Sheridan early Thursday, while strong winds following a line of violent thunderstorms knocked out power to tens of thousands of people across Arkansas.

A National Weather Service survey team confirmed that a tornado with winds estimated at 86 to 110 mph touched down just before 1:30 a.m. southwest of Sheridan, about 30 miles south of Little Rock. It destroyed a mobile home, where three sides appeared to be peeled back from its frame and the fourth was holding an empty gun rack and chest of drawers.

A tornado also may have hit near Lavaca in western Arkansas, where homes and a fire station were damaged. A survey team was planning to review damage there, as well as in a stretch of counties in eastern Arkansas.

The strong winds also carried dust from Oklahoma and Texas into Arkansas, creating a "mud rain" that left cars and homes spattered with dirt.

After the storms cleared the state, winds with gusts exceeding 60 mph toppled trees and power lines, cutting power to about 46,000 Entergy Arkansas customers. The Arkansas Electric Cooperatives also reported several outages, but said it was difficult to say how many because some people lost power as other services were restored.

Gusts hit 63 mph in Fort Smith and Caulksville in Logan County overnight, 59 mph in Texarkana and 58 mph in El Dorado. Trees were reported down in every corner of the state. Winds were expected to remain strong, with gusts to 50 mph, statewide through nightfall.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Reports are coming of damage from strong winds behind the cold front that swept through Wednesday night.

Sebastian County
Local Coordinator reported that due to wind guests of 60 mph, power was out in the cities of Mansfield and Huntington for approximately 20 minutes.  One house had the roof blown off on Shaber Road off Highway 96 in the Riverdale Community north of Lavaca due to high winds or possible tornado.  Riverdale Fire Station received unknown damage.  An unknown number of outbuildings and chicken houses were damaged.  Several trees down.  No known injuries.  Coordinator verbally declared on behalf of the County Judge.

Johnson County
Local Coordinator and ASP Troop J reported a tin roof blown off of a barn.  No injuries reported.  ASP Troop J reported a house in the Hagarville area had minor damage to its roof.  Power was off in the Ozone area and the Hagarville/Lee Chapel area

Yell County
Local Coordinator and ASP Troop J reported trees down on Highway 7 and a county road which have been cleared by the Plainview Fire Department)

Garland County
ASP Troop K reported trees down on several county roads.  Power was out at Troop K and in the city of Royal

Miller County
ASP Troop G reported trees down blocking Highway 71 and Highway 82. Roads have been cleared.

Little River County
ASP Troop G reported trees down blocking Highways 41, 108 and 234.Roads have been cleared.  Local Coordinator reported three homes with roof damage in Foreman

Howard County
ASP Troop G reported trees down blocking Highway 278 and Highway 355.  Local Coordinator reported all roads have been cleared except Highway 369.  Highway Department is on scene.  The roof was blown off of a shed on Corinth Road off Highway 332

Columbia County
ASP Troop G reported trees down blocking Highway 344.  Highway Department and Entergy are on scene

Grant County
Local Coordinator reported trees down on Highway 43, four houses with damage and one house a total loss one mile outside of Sheridan.  Unknown number of minor injuries reported

Nevada County
Local Coordinator reported one mobile home completely destroyed on CR 246.  No injuries reported.

Chicot County
Local Coordinator reported power outage in Lake Village and Eudora due to storm.  County 911 console was possibly hit by lightening.  They are using backup radios.  AT&T 911 service is still operable.

Perry County
Local Coordinator reported trees down and power out in Harris Brake Lake, four miles south of Perryville.  Tress also down on Westgate Drive in Perryville and in Nimrod.  No injuries reported.

 
Damage has also been reported in Monroe and Arkansas Counties, though details are not available.
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