A tornado struck a small Arkansas town, killing three people, injuring at least 24 and seriously damaging about 100 homes, emergency officials said.
Mena, near the Oklahoma state line, suffered a direct hit yesterday that destroyed at least 10 businesses, including city hall and two churches, Polk County emergency coordinator James Reeves said. “One manufacturing plant is gone,” he said. “It took a direct hit. It’s no longer there.”
One of the victims killed in the storm was found in a collapsed house, one in a Masonic Lodge, and another was found in her front yard, he said. The identities of the two women and a man have not been released. The 24 injured people were being treated at Mena Medical Center.
The devastated downtown area was being protected by National Guard troops dispatched by Governor Mike Beebe. A curfew was in effect as emergency crews dealt with ruptured gas lines, downed power lines, fallen trees and heavily damaged buildings.
Reeves said he had never seen a storm like this hit the tornado-prone region.