Two Arkansas schools sustained fire- and weather-related damage on Wednesday March 30, 2022.
A tornado struck the George Elementary School gymnasium in Springdale around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Photos taken shortly after the storm moved through show the building sustained severe damage with only piles of sheet metal and building materials remaining. Seven people sustained injuries related to the Springdale tornado, none related to the damage at the school.
Area meteorologists reported the tornado touched down in Fayetteville in the parking lot of Malco Razorback Cinema, then rapidly intensified as it moved northeast into Springdale. The National Weather Service in Tulsa later said its survey team “found damage in the EF-2 category within the Johnson-Springdale damage path,” and that although surveying continues, the tornado “will be rated at least EF-2.”
News of another school emergency came in around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, as the Saline River Chronicle reported the Warren Fire Department was on the scene of a fire at Warren High School in south Arkansas, with witnesses saying smoke was “billowing out of the north end of the Auxiliary Gym.” No injuries were reported.
On Feb. 24, officials at Warren High reported a fire in the bathroom of the school’s cafeteria, adding that the Warren Fire Department responded and that “no one was injured and the fire was quickly exterminated.” That incident was investigated by the Warren Fire Department, and there is no word yet if the two incidents are related.
(Image of school damage in Springdale by KFSM.)