MAYFLOWER, Ark – National Weather Service Meteorologists left early Tuesday morning to survey damage left behind by Monday night storms.
They say their biggest concern was a storm path that traveled from Mayflower to Jacksonville.
This storm caused the National Weather Service to send out a ‘Tornado Emergency’ Monday night near Little Rock AFB, the first time they’ve done so in years.
NWS Meteorologists say they began their survey trip in Lonoke County, circling around to Faulkner County and Mayflower, where our team met up with them.
At the time, NWS meteorologists were at a home in town assessing damage after a tree fell onto the roof.
“We estimated a 90-mph wind would have caused that tree to fall through the house there,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says this was the first piece of damage they located since starting the drive at 10 Tuesday Morning.
“The first 2 ½ hours we actually found nothing,” said Cavanaugh. “We didn’t find any damage associated with wind or a tornado anywhere.”
Cavanaugh says meteorologists originally predicted the storm to cause more damage than it did.
“We expected a big tornado that was going to do widespread damage, possibly wipe out a lot of homes, maybe injure or kill people,” said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says the last time the NWS issued a ‘Tornado Emergency’ was in 2014 when a tornado made its way through Vilonia and Mayflower.
“That was a wide EF-4 tornado that demolished many neighborhoods,” said Cavanaugh.
Meteorologists with the NWS say at first it looked as if history could repeat itself Monday.
“The storms looked very similar on radar,” said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says it’s likely the tornado never touched down Monday and if it did, the damage was minimal.
“It’s a tough call to make,” said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and in this case, he’s glad no one was hurt.
The National Weather Service is still working to determine what kind of storm system traveled through the area Monday.