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Twisters rake Arkansas

BY SUSAN KIM | LITTLE ROCK, AR | February 25, 2001

Downed power lines closed some roads, and power was out to 18,000 customers on Sunday, mostly in the south Little Rock area.

The areas hit by Saturday's twisters were nearly the same ones hit hard by devastating tornadoes in 1997.

The state opened an emergency operations center as counties conducted preliminary damage assessments. Statewide, only one person

reported major injuries, with 14 sustaining minor injuries. Twenty-seven single-family homes, four mobile homes, and two businesses were

destroyed. Forty-three single-family homes and four businesses sustained major damage. One business sustained minor damage.

Among the hardest-hit areas was Pulaski County, where 17 homes were destroyed, as was the Sandstone Church of Christ. That county will

declare a local disaster, said Terry Pfeiffer, public information officer for Arkansas emergency management.

In Lonoke County, 10 homes were destroyed.

The Salvation Army was sending canteen trucks to deliver food and relief supplies to affected neighborhoods, according to spokesperson

Ron Carr.

As churches prepared for services on Sunday, pastors and other church leaders were checking on the safety of their members and the

condition of their facilities.

The Liberty Hill Baptist Church in Little Rock sustained roof damage and took in rainwater but services were still being held, said the Rev.

Fred Haynes, pastor.

Severe thunderstorms also swept through Texas on Saturday, bringing heavy rain, hail, and high winds that blew off roofs and downed

power lines.

Some areas of west Texas clocked 80-mph winds. Interstate 35 in Lewisville, north of Dallas, was closed as crews cleared downed power


The northern Plains states also saw severe weather this weekend. An ice storm in Wisconsin made traveling treacherous.

In South Dakota, authorities had to close a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 90 on Sunday because blowing snow and stopped trucks blocked the roadway, according to South Dakota emergency management. Eastern South Dakota saw about a foot of snow.

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