St. Francis County tornado claims a life, wrecks multiple homes

HUGHES (KATV) -- One person is dead and another remains in thehospital after major damage from an EF-two tornado in St. Francis County.

The tornado that toucheddown Saturday night near Hughes was on the ground for about 15 miles, withwinds averaging around 130 miles per hour. It's also believed that the twister spanned300 yards in width.

It not only caused severedamage to multiple homes, but it also claimed one life.

"You had adouble-wide mobile home here, a very nice set-up homestead here and now it'sjust a complete bombshell. It's tragic," said first responder Joe Askue ofHughes.

Askue said he was on sceneshortly after the 911 call came in, and he immediately began attending to the Lewisfamily of five, who were suffering from injuries.

The mother Charlene Lewis,a nurse at a nearby hospital, was found inside a car, later dying from injuriessuffered during the tornado.

Her husband was foundabout a quarter of a mile away, he continue to be treated at a Memphis hospitalfor his injuries as of Monday.

"We only had onefatality and that's a tragedy. Being here at Christmas, it's totally tragic foreveryone," Askue added.

One of the few structureswe find that remains standing after the high winds and heavy rain swept throughthe area, was actually picked up and set down several yards away from itsfoundation.

"This tornado camereally quickly, we didn't have much pre-warning of this one. It built quicklyand came in," Askue continued.

Now a part of the countythat was once lively with multiple homes is eerily quiet amid all the damage.