‘It happened so quickly’: St. Francis County residents survey damage after storm

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A powerful storm over the weekend left a huge mess for people in St. Francis County in East Arkansas.

The straight line winds are responsible for hundreds of downed trees, damaged buildings and the total destruction of the airport in Colt, Arkansas.

"The ceiling, roof and everything came down on us. We were trapped under there,"

Stephanie Reagan says the storm that brought the massive tree down on her home Saturday night nearly killed her and her husband.

"This is the porch swing my husband was sitting in, just moments before," she said.

Reagan tried calling 911 for help, but was unable to get through on her cell phone.

She and her husband, who is disabled, finally manged to crawl to safety through the small bathroom window.

Reagan says she still can't believe how quickly the storm moved and how much damage it did.

She thought it had to have been a tornado.

"There was a loud roar, and it happened so quickly. We were already on the ground when my emergency signal came through on my phone."

Perhaps nowhere is the destruction so complete than the airport in Colt, Arkansas.

The entire complex, a hangar and offices were destroyed by winds that gusted to 100 miles per hour.

Six planes were twisted, turned and crumpled.

One of them, a Cessna 172, is owned by Corbin Brown.

"Obviously I recognized the wheels, and they're stuck straight in the air," he said. "I valued this plane at about $70,000."

Brown has insurance but was hoping the plane wouldn't be a total loss.

"I was just hoping I could salvage it when I was looking for it. Obviously I looked at the building. I figured it at least had a dent on it, but I found several dents."

Power is still out to some sections of St. Francis County.

In some areas, crews are having to wait for trees to be removed from power lines.

They are asking for residents to be patient as they continue to restore power.


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