Franklin County Home Damaged In EF1 Tornado

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ark. (KFSM) – An EF1 tornado touched down leaving some damage Friday (Jan. 10).

The tornado was on the ground for almost four miles with winds from 95 to 105 miles per hour.

“It absolutely just dropped out of the clouds in our front yard because that was the only damage before that, after that. It just skimmed the top of the hill and got us pretty good,” Rita Alexander said.

Part of the roof of Alexander’s house was ripped off and now you can see in the sky in her upstairs bedroom. She says she didn’t hear anything before it hit.

“When I did hear some wind, stuff was already hitting the house and I knew there was something bad going on,” Alexander said.

She says it was between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Friday night when she and her dog were in her upstairs bedroom watching the weather not thinking they were in danger in Franklin County.

“The pressure was horrible, I thought my eardrums were going to explode it was so horrible," Alexander said. "So, we ran downstairs and by the time we got in the bathroom it was already over.” 

Franklin County Emergency Management Director, Rick Covert said Alexander’s house was the only residence damaged. He says there were several barns and outbuildings that were hit by the tornado, but luckily there have been no reports of anyone losing livestock.

Covert says they did activate all of their tornado sirens in the Ozark and Altus area because it looked like that’s where it was headed.

“Fortunately, it did lift, and it did not impact an area more densely populated then what it did," Cover said. "It went through mostly farmland and hayfields."

Alexander says they even have a safe room but it happened so fast they didn’t have time to get there.

She says the ceiling only fell though in the master bedroom and closet, but there is a lot of water damage throughout the house.

“We were extremely thankful; all of this can be replaced," Alexander said. "You know, we were so lucky because we didn’t lose any possessions or anything. We were extremely lucky."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.