The National Weather Service has confirmed that a deadly tornado that ripped through Cincinnati in Washington County was an F-3.
The tornado ripped through the area around 6:17 a.m. killing three people, destroying many homes, businesses and the community’s fire department. Roofs were blown off of homes. Many roads to and from Cinncinati were also blocked because of downed powerlines.
The Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross has set up a feeding center at the United Methodist Church in Cincinnati on Highway 59 for any residents in need. Coffee and food are available.
Lauren Anderson with the Red Cross says Little Debbie has donated snacks to be distributed to the teams on the ground there and other concerned citizens are preparing and delivering food and drinks.
During the storm nearly 20,000 customers were without electricity. More than a dozen power poles were snapped during the severe storm. Ozarks Electric crews worked quickly to restore the power. Just after 7 p.m. Friday, only about 75 outages remained in an area west of Wedington near the Washington County and Benton County line, where poles are not only broken but the conductor from those poles is totally gone.
Penny Storms with OECC says the magnitude of damage, the amount of construction required, and darkness make it unsafe for line personnel to continue restoration efforts at night.
Crews will resume power restoration at first light Saturday and all members should have power no later than noon.
Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder says when deputies and medical personnel arrived in Cincinnati they found an elderly couple, 88-year-old Gerald Dean Wilson and 78-year-old Mamie Wilson, dead in their home on Highway 59 North.
Emergency personnel also found James Richard Murray, 78, dead inside a dairy barn nearby. Officials believe Murray had been milking cows when the suspected tornado hit.
At least five people are in critical condition at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.
In Benton County, the Arkansas Department of Emergency management reports 13 homes and 5 businesses are damaged. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport was temporarily closed and flights were either cancelled or delayed that morning, in order for crews to clear debris off of the runway. The airport has since re-opened.
In Madison County, emergency management has reported two unoccupied mobile homes damaged and trees down around Clifty.
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