North Little Rock_A tornado hit parts of Little Rock and its suburbs Thursday, injuring an unknown number of people while damaging businesses and downing trees and power lines.
The National Weather Service, which said a tornado passed directly over its North Little Rock office, reported injuries at a Benton trailer park. An elderly woman was treated by paramedics outside her Cammack Village home.
Meanwhile, at the North Little Rock airport, the storm destroyed a hangar and left several single-engine planes flipped over onto their wings while others were destroyed.
Gregory Greene, 39, said he was outside a restaurant when the tornado hit.
"I saw debris flying around in a circle when I was about to go in and pick up my girlfriend from work," said Greene. "Stuff was going around in circles.
"About that time, it pushed her up against the building and knocked me down and pushed me under that truck," Greene said. While under the truck, he said the storm flipped a car in the next parking space.
"I thought I was going to die," said Greene, whose right elbow was scraped raw.
The National Weather Service said the storm damaged a car dealership and a mobile home park near Benton, southwest of Little Rock, and downed power lines and trees farther southwest on I-30. After hitting Little Rock the storm moved into the city's northeastern suburbs.
In Cammack Village, a community of 1,000 surrounded by northwest Little Rock, police and firefighters went door-to-door to check on residents. Paramedics tended to an elderly woman, who didn't appear seriously hurt. An oak tree blocked in residents on a cul-de-sac and half-foot-deep water from torrential rains flowed down streets.
Susann Walters, 55, said she hid in a closet with her two dogs and a cat as the storm approached. "It was probably 30-45 seconds," Walter said. "It was quick."
A tree from her front yard smashed the hood and front windshield of a neighbor's SUV but her bungalow home only lost a few shingles. She was still blocked in though, with trees down across either end of the street. "I'm not going anywhere," she said as lightning filled the sky and the roar of chain saws pierced the night.
A second storm hit much of the same area south of Little Rock later Thursday but was not as potent, and another storm formed south of Hot Springs and also tracked northeast, toward Arkansas' capital city.
Over the past two months, parts of Arkansas have seen a tornado during a storm outbreak that killed 13, a foot of snow, more than a foot of rain and near-record flooding.