The sleepy little town of Marmaduke was active Monday as emergency service
workers filled the streets helping in the clean-up effort in the aftermath
of a tornado that ripped through the Greene County community Sunday
Estimates range from 200-300 homes destroyed by the tornado, according to
various city and county officials.
There were between 40-50
people injured in the storm, many of whom were transported to Arkansas
Methodist Medical Center. Four others were critically injured, including
one individual who was found in a tree, according to Marmaduke Mayor
As of 6 p.m. Monday no fatalities had been reported. It was unclear
whether there was anyone left unaccounted for. Marmaduke's mayor said the
damage done by Sunday's storm was probably twice as bad as what the city
sustained in 1997 when another tornado tore through the quiet community.
A portion of the city was evacuated Sunday evening and a dusk-to-dawn
curfew was established. Those not able to stay in their homes Monday
evening were asked to leave Marmaduke by 7 p.m.
Shortly after noon, residents were allowed back inside city limits to
retrieve belongings that could be salvaged from their homes and yards.
By early afternoon cadaver dogs, called in from central Arkansas, were
searching the rubble of the hardest-hit areas.
Once the cadaver dogs searched the area, heavy equipment followed behind,
scooping up the remnants.
Gov. Mike Huckabee declared the county a disaster area. He is expected to
visit Marmaduke today to see the devastation first hand.
An Arkansas Department of Emergency Management official was on hand
Monday, and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are expected to
visit the tornado-ravaged community today.
Emergency service workers from Craighead, Mississippi and Clay counties
assisted Greene County authorities in rescue and relief efforts.
In addition, Arkansas State Police, Forestry Commission, Game and Fish
personnel and the Arkansas National Guard's 875th Engineering Battalion
were on hand to assist.
Crews from Greene, Clay and Craighead counties and Paragould Light, Water
and Cable were working to get Greene County roads passable, according to
Greene County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Hood.
Act 309 inmates helped clear debris while Paragould and Marmaduke School
Districts lent emergency workers buses that were used to filter residents
out of the wreckage and to make-shift shelters set up at Paragould
Brian Duncan, Craighead Electric Cooperative's vice president for
corporate services, said electric service had been restored to all but
about 250 customers. At the peak of the outage there were about 1,000
without power in Greene and Crittenden counties, Duncan said.
He said crews are working in shifts around the clock to restore power. He
estimated power will be restored by Wednesday.
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