Storms kill one in SW Arkansas, high winds damage buildings in NW Arkansas
October 13, 2014
- Wind damage reported in Madison County
- NWS investigating storm damage in Little River County
- Lodging in rice a concern
HUNTSVILLE, Ark. -- It wasn't an alarm clock that woke Darrin Henderson up on Monday, but the shriek of high winds and a storm’s deep rumble.
A strong line of storms scythed across Arkansas leaving one person dead and twisting trees and uprooting buildings. Little River County officials confirmed one death near Ashdown, and a team from the National Weather Service office in Shreveport, Louisiana, was en route to survey the area.
“I woke up at 5:30 and heard the wind screaming and a deep thundery roar and the garage door blew in,” said Darrin Henderson, Madison County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “By the time I went to grab up the kids, it was over.
The high winds “missed us by about 200 feet. It went through a hayfield and damaged my father-in-law’s house. His carport is in my neighbor’s pasture about a half-mile away,” he said, adding no one was injured and all horses, cattle and dogs were accounted for.
Monday’s weather heaped worry on farmers already reeling from last week’s storm.
Rice still in the field is a concern. As of last week’s Crop Progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, there was less than a quarter of the crop still in the field.
Extension Rice Agronomist Jarrod Hardke, said the big problem for rice farmers is wind blowing the plants over, known as lodging.
The damage won't always show immediately, Hardke said. An initial walkthrough might show a small area of lodged rice, but in a week or two, that area might have grown.
“The problem with rice is if there’s enough wind to get the lodging started, then it’s a big domino effect,” he said. “You get one little swirl 20 feet wide and that extra pressure, and gradual wind and heavy dew and the area laying on its side will get larger and larger.”
“It’s very much a wait-and-see game now,” he said. “We’ll hope for the best.”
Over the weekend, heavy rains in southeastern Arkansas caused flooding in unharvested cotton and soybean fields, said Gus Wilson, Chicot County extension staff chair.
Sunshine was expected to return to the forecast on Wednesday.
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By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service