Storms Tear Through Benton County; One Man Killed Under Fallen Tree

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — Storms ripped through Northwest Arkansas, downing trees and power lines and killing one man.

Damage was reported throughout the region, with the most reports coming from Siloam Springs, Cave Springs and Rogers, according to Robert McGowan, Benton County Emergency Manager.

Leonard Pollock,66, was killed when a tree fell on his house, McGowan said. The death occurred "in the Beaver Lake Fire Department response area," McGowan said, but he wouldn't be more specific on the address. He said heavy damage was reported in that area, as well as the Beaver Shores area.

McGowan also confirmed that the Gallatin Volunteer Fire Department's building south of Siloam Springs sustained damage, but because it is a volunteer department, no one was in the building at the time, so there were no injuries.

McGowan said he had not heard of any other injuries related to the storms in Northwest Arkansas.

The Embassy Suites in Rogers reported damage to one of its doors, which was torn off the hinges by high winds. Ceiling tiles just inside were also damaged.

A shopping center took heavy damage at New Hope Road and South 8th Street in Rogers, where the front wall collapsed. The collapse damaged several businesses, including a Metro By T-Mobile store and Marco's Pizza. Businesses along Pinnacle Hills Parkway also took severe hits, including Cold Stone Creamery and the Art of Pilates store along that road.

Highway 112 was closed in both directions Monday morning from north of Pace Lane to just south of East Avenue through Cave Springs due to downed power lines and debris in the roadway, according to iDriveArkansas.com. The road was reopened at about 9:30 a.m.

Highway 264 between Highfill and Highway 212 were shut down due to debris in the roadway. Highway 264 from 112 east to Gleneagle Drive was closed because of downed power lines. The eastern portion of the highway from Highway 112 was reopened by 9:30 a.m., but the western portion to Highfill remained closed, cutting off southern access to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA).

Damage was reported at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, and check-in systems were limited by a power outage there. Several delays were reported as canceled, diverted or delayed.

Crews worked throughout the morning to clear roadways of downed trees and power lines. The Rogers Fire Department reported several calls for gas leaks, power lines down and trees in roadway as part of "significant damage due to the overnight thunderstorm," according to a Facebook post.

Tyson Foods in Rogers is canceling its first shift at the Rogers plant due to damage and a power outage, said Scotty Sappenfield, acting plant manager. Second shift will start on time, he said.

Power outages also closed the K-6th-grade classes for Providence Classical Christian Academy in Rogers on Monday. Grades 7-12, housed in another building, were still open.

Power outages were reported throughout the region. As of 11:45 a.m., SWEPCO was reporting 4,524 in Northwest Arkansas, with most of those in the Rogers and Lowell areas. Carroll Electric reported 10,451 in Benton County without power, with 950 without power in Carroll County, 28 in Washington County and 1 in Newton County.

According to Nick Samac with Carroll County Emergency Management, the northern section of the county took the brunt of the storm leaving trees down, some even into homes.

Samac says the power is out for several residents in the county but an estimated total has not been made at this time.

No injuries have been reported in Carroll County at this time.

Madison County Emergency Manager Lori McConnell says there are a few trees down but there is no major damage.

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