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Live updates | Severe storms impacting Arkansas

Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for most of Arkansas on Friday, as the state could also see large hail, damaging wind, and even a few tornadoes.
Credit: AP
A building is damaged after a severe storm swept through Little Rock, Ark., Friday, March 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

ARKANSAS, USA — 8:55 p.m: Gov. Sanders confirms 2 fatalities in Wynne, which brings the total to 3 deaths as a result of the storms. Mayor Scott said that 30 people were transported to hospitals. 

8:45 p.m: Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and Gov. Sanders begin presser over tornado damage. 

8:15 p.m: Two crews expected to begin surveying storm damage tomorrow. One of the crews will survey Little Rock, Cabot, and Jacksonville. The second crew will survey Hot Springs.  

7:45 p.m: Little Rock opens up temporary emergency shelter at Hall STEAM Magnet High School. 

7:25 p.m: Workers with the Pulaski County Coroner's Office have confirmed one fatality in North Little Rock. 

7:15 p.m: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to appear at Little Rock's press conference that's set for 8:30 p.m.

7:15 p.m: Several counties in central Arkansas have been taken out of the tornado watch currently. 

7:05 p.m:  Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., alongside city officials, will share with citizens how the city will respond following the tornado emergency. The press conference is set for 8:30 p.m. at LRPD's headquarters.

6:30 p.m: Tornado warning for Calhoun, Ouachita, and Dallas Counties.  

6:20 p.m: While a source within MEMS initially estimated 600 injured, but Mayor Frank Scott said only 24 people have been hospitalized as of 6:18 p.m. 

6:15 p.m: Gov. Sanders discusses widespread damage in Wynne, sharing that she's been in contact with officials to figure out a plan. 

6:05 p.m: Tornado warning issued for Prairie County.  

5:55 p.m: Tornado warning issued for Prairie, Lonoke, Jefferson, and Arkansas counties until 6:15 p.m.

5:30 p.m: Little Rock mayor Frank Scott Jr. closes multiple roads including, parts of Markham, Rodney Parham, Cantrell, and Shackleford. 

5:15 p.m: Tornado warning for Garland and Jefferson counties. 

5:00 p.m: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has declared a State of Emergency for Pulaski County. 

4:50 p.m: Tornado warning issued for Lonoke County. 

4:45 p.m: Little Rock officials set up temporary emergency shelter at Hall High School for those displaced by storm.

4:30 p.m: Little Rock mayor requests aid from National Guard. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders activated the National Guard shortly after. 

4:15 p.m: Tornado warning issued for Pike, Grant, and Hot Spring counties. 

3:30 p.m: Reports of a 'mass casualty' at UAMS as a result from the storms. More than 68,000 Arkansans reported to have lost power in Arkansas. 

2:40 p.m: Tornado reported to be heading towards Jacksonville and Sherwood.  Nearly 20,000 Arkansans have lost power. 

2:25 p.m: Confirmed tornado on ground in Little Rock over Reservoir Road. 

1:50 p.m: Tornado warning issued for Stone County.

1:40 p.m: Tornado warnings have been issued for Pulaski, Saline, Garland, Pike, and Van Buren Counties. 

These warnings remain in effect until at least 2:15 p.m. for Pulaski, Saline, and Garland County. The warnings for Van Buren and Pike Counties are in effect until at least 2:00 p.m.

1:35 p.m:, Debris was spotted in the radar near Piney, which is indicative of a tornado on the ground.

This debris could be the sign of a very serious storm that's expected to move into the Hot Springs area.

Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for most of Arkansas on Friday with a. East Arkansas is now under a rare Level 5 out of 5 high risk for severe storms. This upgrade was driven by the increase in tornado probabilities. The metro and rest of the state is also under a severe weather risk. 

All types of severe weather are possible, which includes large hail, damaging wind, and even a few tornadoes.

The risk of a tornado is greatest over portions of central and eastern Arkansas on Friday afternoon and evening. 

While that's the main area of concern for tornados, there could still be a tornado anywhere in the state however. 

Additionally, as thunderstorms occur throughout the state, damaging winds in excess of 60 mph are also expected.

As far as timing, thunderstorms are forecasted to develop in western Arkansas by late morning. From there, it's expected that they'll increase in coverage and severity by mid afternoon. 

By 10 p.m. Friday night, it's expected that the storm system should be out of Arkansas.

It’s very important to stay weather aware and have a few different ways to receive severe weather information!

Since this storm system will be moving through during the afternoon hours as schools are letting out, pay close attention to weather conditions in your area and have a plan in place in case you need to find shelter. 

Make sure you have a plan in place and your safe place ready to go with your severe weather kit. Don’t forget to include something to cover up your head like a bike helmet or pillow.

Download the THV11 app for the latest on warnings in your area and remember, you can stream our live coverage on the app as well!

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