Assessment and clean-up from last night’s storm event in Caraway continues today.
The National Weather Service has preliminarily estimated the strength of last night’s tornado as what they called a High EF-1 tornado, containing winds of 86-110 miles an hour. The tornado, which hit just after 7:30 last night, cut a path from Southwest to Northeast through the heart of Caraway causing major tree and power line damage as well as scattered structural damage. Although there were initial reports of trick or treat children missing immediately after the storm, Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd said all residents were accounted for and no injuries were reported.
The Craighead County Office of Emergency Management has been working with Caraway Mayor Barry Riley, County Judge Ed Hill and others to assess the damage from last night’s tornado, and to begin the process of cleaning up.
Mayor Riley told Craighead County Emergency Manager David Moore that, if the city could get a little more help from volunteers and equipment to clean-up, he believes the majority of the tree and debris clean-up will be complete by the end of today, and the rest can be done over the weekend.
The American Red Cross set-up a shelter to provide food and other disaster services to those residents who need it. The shelter was originally set-up at the First Baptist Church in Caraway, but has now been moved to the Senior Center.
Many groups, including the Baptist Relief Organization, were on hand to assist as necessary.
Crews from the area utility companies, including Entergy, Craighead Electric, Centurytel and Ritter Communications were all in the area working on their systems in an attempt to restore service.