SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Seven people have been reported injured after an EF-3 tornado swept through Springdale Wednesday, March 30.
According to Captain Jeff Taylor with the Springdale Police Department, seven people were taken to area hospitals with injuries. Two of those were considered critical.
Crews are still working to clean up the damage left behind by the storms.
Springdale was the hardest hit area in Northwest Arkansas around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Washington Regional Medical Center released a statement saying they had three of the injured patients, one of which has been treated and discharged.
"The Washington Regional Medical Center Emergency Department has received three patients following the severe weather incident in Washington County on the morning of March 30. Storm victims were transported by local EMS crews with injuries ranging from minor to serious. At this time, one of these patients has been treated and discharged.
As the region’s Level II trauma center, Washington Regional stands ready to serve our community with the highest level of trauma care in Northwest Arkansas, and our health system has procedures in place to ensure we are able to safely care for our patients and neighbors during times of severe weather. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this morning’s storm, and we urge the community to avoid impacted areas to allow first responders to assess the impact of the storm and assist those affected."
Northwest Medical Center in Springdale says it received four storm victims, with one remaining in good condition, one transferred to another facility and two treated for minor injuries and released. The hospital lost power this morning and were on a backup generator for about four hours.
Tornado damage in Northwest Arkansas
Melissa Lipsmeyer, who was in her bed when the tornado hit, says she woke up to blood dripping onto the carpet. She says she then went to Mana where they had lost power. Despite not having power, hospital crews stepped up and provided care for her, giving her stitches in the dark.
She describes the moment the tornado hit saying it happened in a split second.
"It sounded like hail might’ve been hit in the windows and it was just a split second later that hail was not hail,” Lipsmeyer said.
She says her home was destroyed.
“Even though we were covered we were trying to get out of bed,” Lipsmeyer said. “But we were being held down by the wind by whatever furniture landed on us or whatever it was.”
Governor Asa Hutchinson says he's been in communication with Mayor Sprouse about the storms and the damage left behind. He released the following statement on Facebook:
"I’ve communicated with the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management and Mayor Sprouse of Springdale about the storms passing through the state. While some of the school buildings in Springdale were damaged, no students were inside, and no deaths have been reported. Search and rescue teams have been deployed, as there are significant damages and injuries. Continue to monitor the weather throughout the state as this storm system moves through. Make sure you have a safe location in the event additional severe weather impacts your area."
Several businesses are showing their support for the Springdale community following the possible tornado.
Tyson Foods says it is assessing the needs of the community to best support those impacted by this morning's storms.
"Springdale is home to Tyson Foods and we are actively working to assess the needs of the community so we can best support those impacted by this morning’s storms. We’re collaborating with local officials and non-profit organizations so we can direct our resources – product donations, financial assistance, and volunteer efforts— where they are needed most. We’re grateful for local first responders and the critical role they have played in helping the Springdale community during this difficult time."
The Jones Center in Springdale opened its doors to those impacted by the storms, offering hot coffee, bottled water and shelter.
The Springdale Chamber of Commerce released the following statement:
"As our community begins the process of restoration after last night's storm, I wanted to update our members on how the Chamber is partnering to assist.
Our staff is currently reaching out to businesses potentially in the storm's path to identify any needs we can assist with. If you are aware of a Springdale business damaged by the storm, please contact the Chamber at 479-872-2222.
Our office is also fielding calls from our partners in the community to compile a list of organizations providing personal assistance. If you are aware of businesses or organizations providing personal assistance, please let the Chamber know by calling 479-872-2222."
At the present time, we are aware of these assistance providers:
• The Jones Center is providing shelter, water, coffee and doughnuts to residents in need;
• The Springdale School District's Tree House Pantry (802 W. Allen) will be providing food bags to affected families now through the end of the week during the hours of 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Families can also call the Springdale School District's HelpLine at (479)-409-5031 to speak with a counselor or social worker;
• Cross Church's Compassion Center and Feed the 479 (3157 W. Sunset) is open for residents with food or clothing needs; Phone: (479)-717-5662
• First United Methodist Church (206 W. Johnson Ave.) and its Bread of Life mission is providing assistance to impacted residents. Call (479)-751-4610 or email email@example.com for more information. The church will be hosting a Community Supper tonight at its main campus for impacted residents from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m.
Please feel free to call the Chamber of Commerce office at (479)-872-2222 with any news of need or of assistance being provided.
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