ORT SMITH, Ark. --
The National Weather Service is reporting that a large, dangerous tornado has destroyed the town of Denning, Arkansas, in Franklin County, just south of Altus.The tornado hit the area about 12:15 a.m., and it continued to the northeast. Spotters reported that this large tornado was up to a mile wide at one point just before it struck Denning.40/29 News reporter Kelly Johnson said there was lots of structural damage in the Denning area, with live power lines down in the area, and no access into Denning from the north side of town.At least one caller reported that their home had been destroyed in Denning. Slideshow: Images: May 24 Tornadoes, Storms
On Franklin County Road 924, there were Franklin County Sheriff Deputies assessing damage, according to 40/29 News reporter Tony Russell. A young girl was transported from one ambulance to another due to problems with power lines across the road that could not be crossed. She was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries, but she was conscious and crying, Russell said.An Arkansas State Trooper said one person was killed in the Denning area, and they are still looking for three missing people. There are numerous instances of downed trees on houses, possibly with people trapped inside, all across Franklin County.Franklin County Judge Jo Powell said at least one house was destroyed and the fatality was in a mobile home. He also said there were numerous live power lines down and cautioned people to be very careful and not to drive over them. Residents of Etna told 40/29 News that they had no warning other than watching the live weather coverage on 40/29, and they were able to just get in their bathroom as the storm blasted through town.Franklin County's emergency services deputy coordinator Rick Covert said several people were hurt as the tornado and strong winds damaged homes. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known. Covert said the storms also tore through a fire station near the Etna-Oak Bend area, ripping off part of the roof and blowing out several doors.Jeff Patrick with the Red Cross said a shelter would be opening in the gym of the United Methodist Church in Ozark about 2 a.m.Madison County dispatch said some rescue crews are headed to Denning to help with rescue efforts.Stay with 4029tv.com for the latest on this story.