23 Years Ago – F3 Tornado Wrecks River Valley

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — On April 21, 1996, a deadly tornado rocked the River Valley.

An F3 tornado touched down just after 11 p.m. that night on the west side of downtown Fort Smith, then crossing over into Van Buren.

The twister packed wind speeds of 200mph and destroyed historic buildings on both sides of the Arkansas River.

Two people died from the storm, and dozens more were left injured.

President Bill Clinton declared both Sebastian and Crawford Counties to be natural disaster areas.

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