Crews Cleanup Damage At Chaffee Crossing

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The cleanup for Fort Smith is underway after storms ripped through the area Wednesday (July 23) afternoon.

The storm left damage all across town, including Chaffee Crossing. The warehouse district is where a significant amount of damage happened.

Trees fell down, roofs were ripped off, and buildings were completely demolished in Chaffee Crossing. Heavy rain and wind gusts were up to almost 70 miles per hour. The storm left behind damage and power outages.

"People in the area have never seen winds like this before," said Ivy Owen with Fort Chaffee Redevelopment.

The major damage happened on the eastern side of the Chaffee Crossing Historic District.

Owen said that he came out to the area immediately after the storm hit. " There were power lines sparking and explosions," said Owen.

According to Owen, four buildings were a complete loss and about 30 other buildings are damaged in the area.

He said crews will be working to get the debris cleared out.

" When that happens we will immediately hire crews to come in and start cleaning up," according to Owen. " We will get the streets cleared and the sidewalks cleared, getting all the debris off the streets and then we start deciding how to clean up the rest of the stuff,"said Owen.

Owen says that the clean up will take about six weeks.