IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Tornado tears through Arkansas city, prompting curfew and National Guard response

“I know there is property damage,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Just praying all is safe.”
Get more newsLiveon

A tornado tore through a small city in Arkansas on Saturday evening, ripping roofs off buildings, flipping cars and prompting a curfew for residents.

The twister slammed into Jonesboro, about two hours north of Little Rock, around 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, which tweeted a video of the storm as it intensified.

Photos and video obtained by NBC affiliate KAIT showed the front entrance of a mall that had been ripped apart and massive piles of debris spilling onto city streets.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, a spokesman for the Jonesboro police department said. City officials said they were aware of at least six minor injury reports.

Image: A tornado wrecking havoc in Jonesboro, Arkansas
A screen grab from a social media video shows a tornado in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Saturday.Said Said, Triples S Phone and C / Reuters

Many businesses were already closed or empty because of the coronavirus outbreak. The state is not under a stay-at-home order but residents have been urged to practice social distancing and remain indoors if they feel sick.

Mayor Harold Perrin issued a curfew for all residents starting at 7 p.m. The National Guard was also being deployed to help with recovery efforts.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that he was paying close attention to the tornado report and is declaring Sunday a "special day of prayer" throughout the state.

“I know there is property damage,” he said. “Just praying all is safe.”