Storms down trees, kill seven | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 15, 2011

Storms down trees, kill seven

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:42 AM

TREES DOWN: At Forest Place apartments on University Ave.
  • Brian Chilson
  • TREES DOWN: At Forest Place apartments on University Ave.

I'm checking in briefly before heading off to UALR for the KUAR fund-raiser.

But, if you don't already know, last night's storms were deadly and damaging.

* A mother and child — Melissa Wedgeworth, 34, and her son Christopher Higgins, 8, were killed on Cynthia Street in Little Rock when a tree fell on their house. An infant in another room survived.

* Two dead, a young man, Jeffrey Allen Gibbs Jr., 24, and an 18-month-old girl, Rylin Gibbs, from a tree falling in a house in western Garland County, the Garland sheriff's office says.

* One dead near Scott in Pulaski County. Channel 4 reports the man lived in an RV on River Road and was killed when a tree fell on the vehicle. The Pulaski sheriff reports other storm injuries.

* A six-year-old in Bald Knob was killed by a felled tree.

* An elderly woman in St. Francis County died when winds blew over her mobile home, Fox 16 reports.

SOUTH LOOKOUT BLOCKED: Note cameraman.
  • David Goins/Fox 16
  • SOUTH LOOKOUT BLOCKED: Note cameraman.

* Trees down all over — with multiple reports from the Heights in Little Rock — and the trees took out electricity service to thousands. Cantrell Hill was blocked with trees at one point in the early morning. I think dawn will be a surprising sight. I have e-mails from two friends about trees falling on their cars. The number of trees down was fearsome. Here's the LRPD list at 7:30 a.m. this morning of streets blocked and power lines down.

* The electricity problems caused closure of some schools, including Forest Park, Jefferson, Henderson and Hall High in Little Rock and, in North Little Rock, the East high school campus, Lakewood middle and elementary and Park Hill elementary. Students at Felder Academy and Brady in the LRSD were to be sent home early because of power problems.

The city of Little Rock is to discuss the damage from the 60-mile-an-hour winds at a news conference. The Red Cross and a Baptist group are working together to provide volunteer help for the extensive tree removal.

UPDATE: The state Department of Emergency Management has provided a roundup of damage reported around the state.

UNRELATED TO WEATHER: But from the LRPD, report of a hit-and-run fatality last night.

At approximately 2017 hours, Officers responded to a Pedestrian Accident located at 4611 West 29th Street. Officers were informed a black male was changing a tire on a vehicle, when he was struck by an unknown type of black vehicle that left the scene east on West 29th Street. The victim was transported to UAMS where he was pronounced dead at 2130 hours. START, Hit and Run and the Crime Scene Search Unit responded to the scene. There were two females with the victim who received minor injuries from the incident. No suspects and the type of vehicle that did the hit and run is unknown at this time. The name of the victim will be released once we confirm next of kin has been notified.

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