Batesville, AR Tornado, Apr 1973
EVEN DOZEN TWISTERS WALK ACROSS ARKANSAS.
Batesville, Ark. -- (AP) -- A wave of tornadoes marched across Arkansas Thursday causing thousands of dollars in property damage, but miraculously there were few injuries and they were considered minor.
A dozen twisters were reported in the state, but the one causing the most damage and most of the injuries ripped through Batesville.
One classroom of Central Elementary School was crushed, but the pupils were away from the room and huddled for protection in a hallway, according to Supt. Leon Gaines. State police said they escaped serious harm.
Five buildings were damaged at Arkansas College in Batesville. Electrical power and telephone service was interrupted when winds blew down utility poles and their lines. Windows were shattered and signs bent and broken. Trees, including some three feet in diameter, were uprooted.
Spots of destruction were scattered across an area about four blocks wide and a mile long at Batesville, starting just past the downtown area and continuing through the college, which sits on a high hill east of the town.
About 15 persons were treated at two Batesville hospitals, mostly for minor cuts due to flying glass.
Maj. Gen. Thomas Phillips, adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard, said Gov. Dale Bumpers had summond 30 guardsmen to duty to prevent looting.
Dr. Joe Murray, 41, dean of students at Arkansas College, said he and College President Dr. Dan West and six other members of the administrative staff were in conference when wind blew out a window in the conference room.
"We went to the front door and saw the trees going down amid a tremendous roar," he said.
"I'd rate it a Class A tornado," he said.
Rep. Bill Alexander, D-Ark., said he had sent a telegram to the Office of Emergency Preparedness and to the Small Business Administration requesting federal disaster aid for the area.
Another tornado destroyed eight homes, a church and a grocery store at England. Several mobile homes and some farm machinery were damaged. Trees were uprooted and power lines were reported down, but no injury was reported.
A tornado was reported about 7:35 p.m. near Whelen Springs southwest of Prescott. First reports indicated that two houses and a church were destroyed.
Another funnel cloud was sighted about 9 p.m. six miles west of West Memphis and an unconfirmed sighting was made about 9:30 p.m. near Sheareville. Trees were down in the areas and windows were blown out. No injury was reported.
Funnel clouds were reported in the air or on the ground Thursday at Jonesboro, Texarkana, Little Rock, Nashville, Northern Garland County, between West Memphis and Marion, about three miles east of Blevins in Hempstead County and in the Almond area north of Concord in Cleburne County.
The Ada Evening News Oklahoma 1973-04-20