Tornado tears through Arkansas town, striking school and store

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TYRONZA, Ark. — Tyronza, Arkansas is cleaning up from what the National Weather Service believes to have been an EF-1 tornado Monday morning.

Mayor Charles Glover spent the day surveying the damage, and said the county judge has declared the town a disaster area. Tyronza, population 750, is under a 9 p.m. curfew for now, the mayor said.

After surveying the damage, Glover said 84 homes and businesses were damaged. Seven of the houses were so bad people won't be able to stay there Monday night. Red Cross is helping them out.

A local convenience store and elementary school took some of the biggest hits.

Drone video from Arkansas State Police captured the devastation along Highway 118 — a convenience store nearly leveled, all the pumps ripped out of the ground. A clerk was inside this store and a customer was clinging to a pole when the tornado touched down.

Tyronza, Arkansas was hit by an EF-1 tornado Monday, the National Weather Service says.

The elementary school next door also lost part of its roof and some windows.

Classes were canceled at the school before the tornado ripped through the area.

No word on how much damage was done to the building, but several classrooms no longer have ceilings.

"My granddaughter goes to the school," said Pam Householder, who lives across the street. "That's one of the reasons I wanted to see the school because, as I said, some of the roof was off. So, I wanted to see for myself."

Householder found her carport was up in a tree. One of her neighbors ended up with a tree on their house.

She says after looking at all the damage around her, she feels extremely lucky her house wasn't touched.

A tornado shelter is right next to the gas station and connected to the school. There is no damage to the building, and there was one person inside at the time.

Most of the damage was on the south side of town, and a lot of power lines were down. Entergy was working to get power restored.

Volunteers from Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Arkansas helped with cleanup Monday. They said everyone is doing what they can to support those who have been affected.

Mayor Glover was thankful everyone was OK, but knows the clean up will take a while.

"We don't have much sales tax revenue, our sales tax revenue is from our convenience store and that will hurt for awhile," he said.

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