Oklahoma and Arkansas were hit by violent tornadoes Sunday which left up to 18 dead, along with a trail of destruction in their wake. Of the two states, Arkansas was the most severely damaged, with at least 16 dead. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe gave his condolences and explained that it was one of the deadliest storms in terms of lives lost, and damage caused. The tornadoes also moved to Oklahoma where they claimed additional lives.
Rescue workers combed the path of wreckage searching for survivors Monday, a day after the storms ripped through Arkansas and Oklahoma. Much of the damage, along with the majority of fatalities came in central Faulkner County, as 10 of the deceased were located in that specific area. The tornadoes ripped houses apart, destroyed vehicles, and left a pile of destruction as they made their way through Arkansas and Oklahoma. In Faulkner County, perhaps the hardest hit single location of the storm’s path, lost up to 60 homes on a single street.
Although the final tally of injured may still be growing, at least 100 have been reported to have sustained injuries as a result of the storm. Governor Beebe had declared a state of disaster for Faulkner County and at least one other surrounding county, and the Coast Guard was called to assist in disaster relief efforts. Oklahoma and Arkansas both are mourning the loss of life, as the violent tornadoes ripped through both states leaving up to 18 dead. Heavy equipment was necessary to clear streets in some of the harder hit areas of Arkansas’ Faulkner County, and rescue and clearing efforts will continue for some time.
In addition to the loss of life, at least 20 businesses were destroyed, along with up to 10,000 left without power in Arkansas as a result of the storm. Despite it being one of the most devastating storms so far to tear through the central-south region of the US, weather analysts say that more such storms may be on the way in the near future. At present however, Arkansas and Oklahoma both, after sustaining violent tornadoes which claimed 18 lives, are hoping that such damage and loss of life will not visit them again any time soon. Rescue officials and disaster relief personnel will continue to work in both Arkansas and Oklahoma to deal with the damage caused by the violent storms.
By Daniel Worku
Wall Street Journal