Central Arkansas Storms Cause Extensive Damage

SARDIS, Ark. (AP) -- Driving rain and high wind caused heavy damage and injured at least 10 people Monday as storms moved through Arkansas, knocking out power to thousands of customers, authorities said.

Near the town of Sardis, Fire Chief Rick Morris said about 45 structures were damaged or destroyed. Several tornados were reported.

``When I looked out the window I saw the tornado swirling and I heard it hit,'' said sign painter Doug Hethcox. ``All I could do was dive for the floor. The next thing I knew it was over. My trailer was knocked about 4 feet off its foundation.''

Near Hethcox's mobile home, 50-foot pine trees were snapped and others were pulled out at their roots. Twisted metal and insulation from destroyed mobile homes sat in the top of trees.

Tthe top and front of John Harris' home near Sardis was ripped away. He said his wife and preschool-aged daughter were in the residence just before storm hit.

``It's all gone,'' Harris said, as he sat on what used to be the front steps of his blown-out brick and frame structure in central Arkansas.

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