There were deaths and injuries as a powerful storm system swept through the region on Friday night and Saturday.
A couple was killed near Haughton, LA, when a storm demolished their mobile home, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office said. A third was killed by a falling tree in Oil City, LA.
Across the South, one man died in Texas and three died in Alabama as a result of the overnight system.
Magnolia and Columbia County got through the evening relatively unscathed.
There were numerous reports of downed trees in the immediate area.
As of 2 p.m., about 500 Entergy Corporation customers in the Magnolia-Stamps area had no power, down from more than twice that number earlier.
In the Magnolia area, the largest outages were along South Vine Street, and the Walkerville and Ebenezer communities.
Most of Columbia County received an inch of rain. The Taylor-Bussey area recorded more than 2.5 inches.
magnoliareporter.com recorded 3.3 inches of rain overnight.
Almost 800 customers in southern Union County had no service.
Almost all of the 500 Ouachita Rural Electric customers whose service was disrupted earlier were back on line by 8 a.m.
The National Weather Service in Shreveport dispatched storm survey teams to Oil City, and to the Haughton-Minden area.
Gauging by power outages, damage was extensive from near Haughton, to Bernice, LA, and into southeast Arkansas at Hamburg, Lake Village and Dermott.
At 2 p.m., power remained out to most Entergy customers in Hamburg, Lake Village and Dermott. Most power had been restored in Drew County, but about 1,200 power customers still had no service in the Monticello area.
Across Arkansas, almost 43,000 Entergy customers lost service. About half enjoyed restored service by Saturday afternoon.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency, suspending state rules that regulate vehicles from carrying heavy loads in storm-affected areas .
Early Saturday, Claiborne Electric Cooperative had more than 8,000 customers without power. By 2 p.m., the number was down to 5,000 – a fifth of its customers. The figure included 836 in Webster Parish, 804 in Lincoln Parish, and 2,834 in Union Parish.
In Bossier Parish, an elderly couple was found deceased early Saturday morning by South Bossier Fire firefighters near their demolished trailer home on the north side of the 400 block of Davis Road, just west of Highway 157. Bienville Parish Fire, Bossier Parish EMS and Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies are also in the area supporting a search for other possible storm victims.
CLICK THE VIDEO PLAYER to see Haughton damage, provided by the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.
A BSO K-9 team has been searching the area, and a BSO drone team is joining join the search and will assist with survey of the damage. Additionally, special emergency search and recovery amphibious vehicles are being deployed in the muddy area to help with the search.
One death was reported in Oil City, LA. Benton Middle School was damaged when winds ripped the roof from four classrooms. A Benton police officer received electrical injuries when he came in contact with an energized line.
Louisiana State Police said that Interstate 20 in Webster Parish, east of Minden, remained closed by debris. It was closed eastbound at mile 49, and westbound at mile 52.
South Claiborne Water District in Athens placed its customers under a boil order due to storm damage to its distribution system.
At the University of Arkansas-Monticello, a large section of roof was blown off Maxwell Hall, a residential hall. There was no damage to the rooms below. Power was out to most of the residence halls on campus.
A strong tornado damaged and destroyed homes in the Paris-Subiaco area of west central Arkansas.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation said that multiple tractor-trailers on Interstate 40 in St. Francis County were blown over by high winds.
Temperatures that were in the low 70s on Friday afternoon plunged into the upper 30s on Saturday afternoon. Freezing temperatures are expected Saturday night. Sleet and snow was falling in some parts of Northwest Arkansas on Saturday.