Severe thunderstorm in Morrilton damages 50 homes

By Matt Johnson

MORRILTON - A severe thunderstorm ripped through Morrilton Tuesday afternoon, causing damage to dozens of homes and injuring one person.

Emergency crews responded to 50 homes with tree damage, following a storm that lasted only minutes and began shortly after 3 PM.

"I see this tree just flying all around and about two seconds later, the tree disappears," said Robbie Bane, who's live at his house off Razorback Drive for almost three years.

It disappeared out of sight and landed directly in front of his house. It happened while he and his two daughters were home sleeping. No one was injured during the incident and only one person was reported injured in Morrilton due to the storm Tuesday.

A tree fell on an individual near Tennessee Avenue, according to fire officials. It is considered a minor injury.

For Bane, his family will be spending the night away from their house that will take days to repair.

"We got the ceiling falling down and then the rain pours in," said Bane. "Luckily my mom lives next door."

Many residents in Bane's North Hills subdivision, however, were forced to check-in to a hotel overnight due to similar damage to their homes.

Morrilton City Park saw extensive damage done to its tennis courts, fences, power lines, and concession stand. The roof at nearby Green Bay Packaging was partially ripped off, temporarily closing down the business.

City crews will resume the cleanup process Wednesday morning. A blown transformer knocked out the power to hundreds of Morrilton residents in the South part of town, as of Tuesday evening.

"A transformer is sitting in the middle of somebody's driveway so [crews] are going to have to come rebuild that tonight," said Mayor Stewart Nelson.

Nelson says rebuilding the town will be easy and he's just thankful things weren't any worse.

"We're a very lucky community tonight," he said.

Mayor Nelson did not want to speculate how much the storm damage would cost Morrilton until later in the week.