Because of telephone connectivity issues, the Log Cabin Democrat is unable to send or receive phone calls or messages at this time. 

  • Comment

Reports from Mayflower include injuries, much damage

Posted: April 28, 2014 - 1:08am
Many homes and businesses near Highway 365 in Mayflower have damaged or destroyed.
Many homes and businesses near Highway 365 in Mayflower have damaged or destroyed.

A command station has been set up at Mayflower City Hall for officials and volunteer check-in following Sunday's tornado event. 

Just before midnight Sunday, Mayflower Fire Chief Carl Rossini addressed volunteers and assisting agencies, saying the city would soon be "locked down," and only those with proper credentials would be allowed within damage areas. 

Though numbers are not official, six fatalities were reported late Sunday with the storms that most seriously impacted areas of Vilonia and Mayflower in Faulkner County. 

Mayflower residents in need of shelter may report to Mayflower High School. The city is prepared to house 500 in that location. 

State Highway 365 was blocked until late Sunday by overturned vehicles, and side roads inside Mayflower's city limits were blocked by downed power lines and trees. 

Several homes and businesses seen from Highway 365 and off of Miller Street were significantly damaged, and there were reports of heavy damage in the area of Plantation Drive and River Road in Mayflower. 

Roads to the Plantation neighborhood were blocked by officials, and police blocked Dam Road across Interstate 40, saying the area was also heavily damaged. 

Center Road, Cross Street, and Gandy Lane were impassable late Sunday due to downed trees, debris and power lines.

Mayflower resident Robert Gibson, who was seated outside of a friend's damaged home on Gandy Lane near Lumber 1 Home Center, said he was in his house nearby when the tornado hit.

He said when the power went out, he sought shelter in a closet with his small dog, Buddy. 

"I knew it was coming, it kept getting louder, I said, 'Oh my God,' and the windows started breaking," he said. "It was a weird noise, it scared the hell out of me."

Another family across HWY 365 was picking through some of the debris of their home and simultaneously reporting via telephone their minor injuries and conditions to concerned friends and family. 

A bird, still in its cage, was pulled from the debris, and a small dog was being held by the homeowner. 

Also along HWY 365 was a family loading miniature horses into a mini-van. Their owners reported the horses, mud-covered and one of them blind, were pulled from a collapsed structure. 

Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock said there is "utter devastation" in the county. 

He said family members were searching for missing relatives, and that there was much confusion. 

A medical triage area was set up in the parking lot of Lumber 1. The center's commander, Major Ken Ekenscair, said four people had been taken to hospitals from that location.

 

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

  • Comment