Damage Reported in Northeastern Arkansas as EF3 Tornado Strikes Jonesboro; Flash Flooding Swamps Cleveland

Sean Breslin
Published: March 30, 2020

A severe weather outbreak hit the mid-South and Midwest on Saturday as at least two tornadoes struck northeastern Arkansas.

A large tornado was captured on a highway camera moving into the east side of Jonesboro, Arkansas, during a live broadcast on The Weather Channel at about 5 p.m. CDT Saturday evening. The footage showed debris being lofted into the air, and minutes later, KAIT-TV reported search and rescue operations were underway and vehicles were overturned in the area of the Mall at Turtle Creek.

Most stores at the mall were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Associated Press.

The National Weather Service assigned an EF3 rating to the Jonesboro tornado, noting the estimated maximum winds were 140 mph. Hangars were damaged at Jonesboro Municipal Airport, located just northeast of the mall, the NWS said.

A second tornado was also confirmed by the NWS to the northeast of Jonesboro in southeastern Greene County, Arkansas, and was rated EF1.

Twenty-two people were injured by the tornado, but there were no deaths, the Associated Press reported.

After surveying the damage, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin issued a citywide curfew starting at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday, according to KAIT-TV.

Before the supercell reached Jonesboro, a confirmed tornado struck near the town of Amagon, some 30 miles to the southwest.

The storm system that spawned Saturday's severe weather also caused flash flooding in the Cleveland metro area early Sunday morning.

The flooding prompted water rescues and evacuations in several parts of Cuyahoga County, according to a flash flood warning from the NWS. A portion of eastbound Interstate 90 in northeastern Cuyahoga County had to be closed because of the flooding.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.