Tornado Devastates Little Rock, Arkansas, With Local Hospitals Filling Fast
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KPEL News) - The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado has touched down in Little Rock, Arkansas, leaving a path of devastation through a populated area and leading to area hospitals preparing for a mass casualty event.
Videos of the tornadoes have been circulating around social media as news reports of the damage have begun to spread.
Reported of the tornado were confirmed and Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders has declared a state of emergency. However, local hospitals are working overtime to accommodate what is now a mass casualty event.
But there are also reports that there are not enough ambulances to transport the injured, leading to police cars being utilized for getting victims to local hospitals.
As of 5:30 p.m. local time, 80,000 Arkansas residents are without power, according to PowerOutage.us. The destruction has been pretty significant, according to news reports like at NPR:
The twister tore first through neighborhoods in west Little Rock, and shredded a small shopping center that included a Kroger grocery store. It then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and surrounding cities, where widespread damage was reported to homes, businesses and vehicles.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock was operating at a mass casualty level, spokesperson Leslie Taylor said. Several people had already been transported to the medical center, but an exact count was not immediately available.
While south Louisiana will not be impacted much by the severe weather this evening, the National Weather Service is expecting that "large hail, tornadoes, and strong winds will all be possible," according to their latest report. "The higher threat area will reside across much of Southwest Arkansas and into extreme Northern Louisiana, where an Enhanced Risk (Level 3 of 5) is in place."