LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas is still reeling as it wakes up on Saturday morning a day after Mother Nature rocked the Natural State with a series of devastating tornadoes.

At least five people died in the storms, four in the eastern Arkansas town of Wynne and one in North Little Rock.

A state of emergency has been declared across the state, with the Arkansas National Guard having been activated to aid in the response.

Hospitals around the Little Rock metro reported a growing number of patients. Baptist Health has treated 38 patients between its facilities in Little Rock and North Little Rock, with four patients still in intensive care.

UAMS officials said they have treated four patients for injuries related to the storms, and officials with CHI St. Vincent and Arkansas Children’s Hospital also said they have admitted patients with storm injuries, but they did not share exactly how many had been treated.

As of 9:30 a.m., there are still more than 47,000 customers without power across Arkansas.

Little Rock slammed by tornado, west side sees major damage

Much of the damage in the capital city happened on the west side of Little Rock.

A shopping area off of Rodney Parham was hit hard by the storms, with roofs being ripped off stores and windows being blown out, all while customers were inside. In the parking lot, a car was flipped, landing on its top, where it remained Saturday morning.

In the nearby Breckenridge Village, several stores were destroyed. Crown Trophies owner Jennie Cole said she was in her shop when the storms hit and called the experience the scariest thing she has ever been through.

Residents were also knocked back by the storms, with homes and apartments throughout the metro area seeing major damage.

In the Napa Valley neighborhood, trees were uprooted, tearing through concrete and falling into apartment buildings and cars parked outside.

Trees also crashed into roadways and knocked down power lines in the area, slowing response by emergency crews and leaving people stranded without electricity.

North Little Rock neighbors banding together in response to storms

In North Little Rock, resident Zachary Phillips said Friday was like being in “a warzone” and he and his neighbors in the areas of Osage and Pontiac Drives saw roofs ripped off homes, cars cleaved in two and trees toppled.

“It feels like a warzone almost like a bomb went off right here,” Phillips said. “It just brought the entire front deck out to the front and everybody was panicking.”

As the storms passed, crews and residents took to the streets to begin the clean-up process, with chainsaws breaking down trees and tarps and tape being shared to try and repair as much as possible.

North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick said some of the hardest-hit areas of the city were in the Amboy neighborhood. From there, he said, storms moved northeast into the Lakewood, Indian Hills and Shady Valley areas.

The mayor noted that more than 15,000 customers lost power in the city during the Friday storms, but he said that with the help of crews from Conway and other communities, local teams had that outage number down to 10,000 customers by Saturday morning.

“It brings tears to your eyes,” Hatwick said. “The neatest thing is, I’ve got a lot of friends, they’re calling, ‘I got a chainsaw.’ The people that want to help. It’s really, really, pretty neat to see people try to volunteer their services.”

Governor Sanders, Mayor Scott tour damaged areas

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. Saturday on a tour of areas of the city hit by the storm the day prior, including a Little Rock Fire Department firehouse that saw damage.

Scott said that more than 2,100 homes and businesses in the capital city were in the path of the storm but that crews were still assessing just how many were damaged by the tornado.

Speaking to reporters after touring the damage, the governor praised the quick work of emergency responders when the storms struck.

You can help with disaster recovery by donating to the
American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.