Warren, AR Tornado Destroys Towns, Jan 1949
ARKANSAS TOWN COUNTS TORNADO VICTIMS AT 46.
Warren, Ark. -- (AP) -- This weeping and torn timber town today counted 46 dead and nearly 300 injured in the wake of a tornado which hit with a thundering roar late yesterday afternoon.
Two other tornadoes killed four persons and injured more than 60 in northern Louisiana and near El Dorado, Ark.
Stumble Through Ruins.
All through the night dazed survivors at Warren (population 7,800) stumbled through the ruins of a 20-block industrial and residential area, many airlessly, others in search of relatives. Warren is 100 miles southeast of Little Rock.
Doctors and nurses from nearby communities and from Hot Springs and Little Rock rallied on the stricken area. They worked through the darkness, rain and hail by lamp and candlelight to treat the stream of injured.
Dead Overflow Morgue.
The dead, gathered by common consent at a single funeral home, overflowed the small morgue into a garage.
At daybreak this morning 150 National guardsmen and state policemen began the backbreaking task of prying through the wreckage in search of additional bodies.
Major JIM HURLEY expressed fear that other bodies would be recovered and predicted the death toll would reach 50, maybe more.
Convicts equipped with bulldozers, picks and shovels aided in the task of clearing the debris. Mayor HURLEY said damage, conservatively estimated, would reach the $1,000,000 mark.
Identification of the dead was developing into a difficult job. Many of the bodies were cut to ribbons by falling or flying timbers and other debris. So far only 27 have been named.
The storm struck at 5:46 p.m., and lasted 15 minutes. The arrival as most of the town prepared for supper was heralded by an ominous roar.
W. PARKER BROWN, watchman at the Bradley Lumber Co., said 11 men saved themselves by taking refuge around a locomotive in one of the shops. The engine was covered with timber afterwards.
Fires Break Out.
BROWN said he saw one man wrapped around a utility line "like a doll."
Electric, gas and water lines were broken. Fires broke out adding an eerie glow to the nightmare.
The Red Cross and armed forces sent in mobile kitchens and first aid stations.
The Navy installed a radio communication center to maintain contact with its Camden, Ark., ordnance plant and provide assistance to warn out but heroic telephone operators who stuck by their jobs.
A worker at the Bradley mill, which employs about 1,800 persons, said the storm hurled huge timbers through the air like so many toothpicks.
So great was the force of the blow that it picked up a heavy bus and bent it around a power pole.
The Louisiana blow sped down the Cotton Valley, scene of a similar disaster last year, killing a farmer and an 21-months-old baby. Twenty-nine Louisians were injured.
After leaving Warren the storm skipped to the vicinity of El Dorado, killing two others and injuring more than a score.
Warren's Mayor HURLEY estimated the storm cut a swath half-mile wide and wrecked 15 to 20 per cent of the homes and buildings in the southern and eastern sections of the town.
By the Associated Press.
Following is a list of identified dead in Monday's tornado at Warren, Ark.:
MRS. R. C. DERRYBERRY, 32, her daughter, CAROLYN, eight, and son, RICHARD, 10.
MR. and MRS. MELVIN WHITE, 57 and 58 respectively, and their daughter, MRS. CLARENCE NELSON.
MRS. JOSEPHINE HARDING, 80.
MR. and MRS. LEONARD HENDERSON, 48 and 43 respectively.
MR. and MRS. SAM BAKER, 29 and 32 respectively.
MRS. MARY BARTRAM, 68.
MRS. BLANCHE ENOS, 63.
MR. and MRS. H. E. GREENE, both 50.
MR. and MRS. ALVIN REPA, 25 and 17 respectively.
MRS. FRANK BEARD.
MRS. J. E. STEWART, 54.
BEN BRASWELL, 65.
MR. and MRS. THEODORE LOVELL and daughter, DIANE.
MRS. JESSIE HAMILTON, 55.
MRS. LEONARD JOHNS, 37, and daughter, BETTY JO, 11.
V. O. SULLIVAN, 40.
MRS. S. A. D. SINKS.
KENNETH JONES, 16.
CLIFFORD GODFREY, 55.
JAMES CARLTON and CAROLYN McKINNEY, both children (ages unobtainable.)
SHIRLEY ANNE JOHNSTON, Camden, Ark.
JIMMY KING, of Pangburn, Ark.
LINDA CARROLL MOORE, 2, and BOBBY MOORE.
MRS. EVERETT SIPES, 31.
MRS. ERVIN LOWE.
MRS. N. B. ROBBINS, 24.
MRS. JOHN WHITMAN.
G. W. BAKER.
CLINT EASON, 52, died at Camden hospital.
MARY JANE MAGINNIE, 4.
H. S. BLISS.
The Maryville Daily Forum Missouri 1949-01-04