The National Weather Service in Little Rock reported Tuesday afternoon that damage survey teams have confirmed two tornadoes occurred in Southeast Arkansas during Sunday night's severe weather outbreak.
The National Weather Service in Little Rock reported Tuesday afternoon that damage survey teams have confirmed two tornadoes occurred in Southeast Arkansas during Sunday night’s severe weather outbreak.
A NWS spokesman said a twister that significantly damaged dozens of homes and businesses in the Fordyce area and flattened a landmark 162-year-old church in Kingsland was definitely an EF2 tornado with winds of 111 to 135 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said preliminary indications are that a tornado that downed several grain bins and other metal structures and overturned farm machinery near the Sweden community in southeastern Jefferson County was also an EF2.
The NWS’ Sweden-area survey team was not expected to complete its assessment until late Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday.
The tornado that smacked Fordyce commenced about three miles west-southwest of Thornton in Calhoun County. It spun a north-northeast trail to Fordyce in Dallas County and continued onto Kingsland in Cleveland County, staying on the ground for 19.2 miles.
Damages in Calhoun and Cleveland counties were primarily limited to timber.
The NWS ruling that the Sweden-area upheaval was caused by a tornado surprised Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Karen Quarles, who said an assessment by local officials pointed to straight-line winds as the culprit.
“But we’re not the experts,” she said. “Whatever it was, it was pretty destructive, and we’re very fortunate that it wasn’t worse and we didn’t have any injuries.”