A home and barn have been destroyed near the community of Bismarck, and at least two people are injured.
According to public information officer Brandon Morris with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the two buildings, located somewhere along Highway 84, were completely destroyed in the storm that hit.
“It started hailing and starting picking up. All the sudden the windows came inside. I turned and started running to the other end of the house. I didn’t get very far and kind of went face first. It was all over in just a couple seconds,” said Hayden Thornton, the homeowner’s son.
Four people were at the home when the storm hit around 4:30 p.m. Monday. Three of them were in the dining, and the fourth was taking a shower upstairs–that person was thrown from the home.
An ambulance took the man to a nearby hospital, and he is expected to be okay.
Thornton said some 200 people stopped by to help the family start picking up debris.
The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office said fire departments and other crews were also out at the location on the 14,000 block of Highway 84, which is about 2 miles east of Bismarck.
John Robinson, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, plans to go to Bismarck Tuesday to inspect the area, but remains skeptical as to whether this event was a tornado.
He said photos from witnesses have not surfaced, and the radar suggested that no tornadic activity occurred.
According to the National Weather Service, trees and power lines were reported down along Highway 84 at Morgan Lane. The NWS also said several cars were flipped in the same area.
According to Entergy Arkansas’ outage map, the only power outages were along, and immediately off of, Highway 84 running in a line from I-30 at Social Hill to Bismarck. In Hot Spring County, 647 customers were without power, and around 3,700 customers were without power in total across the state.
Robinson said that last year, the strongest thunderstorm wind reported in the state was 115 mph, and there were three dozen instances of thunderstorm winds of 80 mph or higher.
Hotspringsdaily.com has just received a notice of a (winter storm watch) for Garland county for Wednesday night until Thursday. Details later today as they develop.