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Possible tornado hits Arkansas, Deep South braces for storms

SPRINGDALE, ARKANSAS (AP) – Severe storms and a possible tornado damaged buildings and downed power lines in northwest Arkansas yesterday as tornadoes and hurricane-force winds were forecast in much of the Deep South, a week after severe storms struck the New Orleans area.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from yesterday’s storms that hit in Springdale, some 235 kilometres northwest of Little Rock, and prompted tornado watches and warnings.

Damage was extensive in Springdale, including to an elementary school gymnasium and a warehouse, KFSM-TV reported. The Springdale School District, which is the largest in Arkansas, cancelled classes yesterday because of the storms.

A tornado watch was issued for most of Arkansas, northern Louisiana, southern Missouri, southeastern Oklahoma, and northeast Texas through yesterday afternoon. Forecasters said tornadoes were likely, along with isolated wind gusts of 130 kilometres per hour or higher.

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