North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick described the scene in City Hall when a tornado crossed the river into the city Friday afternoon.
“We watched it and of course it started hitting Burns Park,” the mayor said Saturday. “It was approximately 400 yards wide when it hit Burns Park, and for the next five and a half miles we just kept watching it and watching and watching.”
According to the mayor, some of the areas hardest hit by the storm were Amboy, and northeast from there into Lakewood, Indian Hills, and the Shady Valley area. He also said the storm hit major energy distribution lines, taking out an estimated 50 poles.
As many as 15,000 customers lost power in the city. With help from outside crews from Conway and other places, that number had been reduced to 10,000 by Saturday morning. Hartwick added it could be days before power is fully restored.
Mayor Hartwick advised people to take care of themselves, and to be patient as the city works hard to restore power and clear the roads. He also reminded people without power to be mindful of the food in their refrigerators as it spoils. To help with that, sanitation trucks will be parking at fire stations and in Kroger parking lots for residents to take out any trash.
“It brings tears to your eyes,” he 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.”
The mayor also voiced his appreciation for the city of Little Rock. “It’s a team effort, we’re all brothers and sisters.”