THV11 — Little Rock was hit by what's being described as a "catastrophic" tornado by meteorologists on Friday as severe storms moved throughout Arkansas.
The tornado in Little Rock was confirmed around 2:25 p.m. over the Reservoir Road area. It went from Little Rock to Jacksonville.
There's been reports of lots of damage in the Little Rock metro area and we are working to confirm the extent of the damage.
At least two tornadoes were been confirmed as of 3:40 p.m.
UAMS officially declared a mass casualty event following the tornado. We are working to confirm any further injuries or deaths.
Hospitals in Little Rock are reporting a surge in patients, which includes; CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock and Sherwood, Baptist in Little Rock and North Little Rock, and UAMS.
While a source within MEMS initially estimated 600 injured, but Mayor Frank Scott said only 24 people have been hospitalized as of 6:18 p.m.
Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said he was in contact with Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to request assistance from the National Guard.
And then Sanders activated the Arkansas National Guard a little after 4 p.m. They will be deploying to areas that have been impacted by the storm.
The governor said they will "spare no resource to assist with response and recovery efforts for Arkansans impacted."
Pulaski County and Little Rock both declared a state of emergency in response to the damage sustained.
The mayor has asked residents of Little Rock to avoid a wide swath of the city, which was hit by the tornado and damaging winds.
The following roads are currently closed:
- Markham from Rodney Parham to Napa Valley
- Rodney Parham from Markham to Napa Valley
- Cantrell from I-430 to Reservoir Road
- Shackleford/Arkansas Valley to Markham
Nearly 70,000 houses are without power in the Central Arkansas area, with over 56,000 houses without power in the Pulaski County area. For information about the power outages from Entergy Arkansas, click here.
Red Cross opening shelter in Little Rock following tornado damage
Shelter to open at 6 p.m.
LITTLE ROCK, AR March 31, 2023 — The American Red Cross is opening a shelter for residents affected by today’s tornado damage:
- Calvary Baptist Church, 5700 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR 72207
The role of the Red Cross in any disaster is to focus on addressing the immediate needs of those affected. The Red Cross is coordinating with community, government and emergency management officials to determine where and when additional assistance is needed.
Identification and/or proof of residency is NOT required to be admitted to a Red Cross shelter. Individuals and families are encouraged to bring the following items with them:
·clothing for a few days
·a child’s stuffed animal, blanket or other items for your children
American Red Cross services are free and available to all regardless of race, religious beliefs, nationality, or citizenship status.
How to help:
For individuals wishing to assist the Red Cross in responding to community disasters, a financial donation is best. This allows the Red Cross to be flexible in using the funds to directly address the needs of those affected. To donate, call 1-800 RED CROSS or donate online at www.redcross.org. To volunteer to assist the Red Cross in responding to disasters, go to redcross.org.
For the latest information on Red Cross relief efforts in Arkansas, please follow @ArkRedCross on Facebook or Twitter.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.