Tornado ravages Wynne, Arkansas, leaves 4 dead, trail of debris, destruction

A massive tornado Friday blew through Wynne, Arkansas, leaving a trail of destruction and death.

On Saturday morning the Associated Press reported four fatalities in Wynne.

"It's heart wrenching seeing Wynne destroyed like that," said St. Francis County Coroner Miles J Kimble, who is assisting the Cross County Coroner. "The schools, families grieving, people trapped, first responders working, it's just very difficult in my heart watching their community."

Photos of Wynne circulated on social media showing destroyed homes and buildings, torn fences, flipped cars, shredded rooftops and the damaged Wynne High School.

Debris covers the ground around a home that was damaged from severe weather in Wynne, Ark., on Saturday, April 1, 2023.  Unrelenting tornadoes that tore through parts of the South and Midwest that shredded homes and shopping centers.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning Friday at 4:15 p.m. for Wynne, about 50 miles away from Memphis.

"Widespread damage in Wynne," said Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a tweet. "I’ve been in touch with local officials for updates and to direct state resources. Please follow the direction of local authorities. Praying for the safety of all Arkansans who are in the path of these storms."

The Associated Press reported that Wynne City Councilmember Lisa Powell Carter said the city was without power and the roads were full of debris.

"I'm in a panic trying to get home, but we can't get home," Powell Carter told the AP in a phone call. "Wynne is so demolished...There's houses destroyed, trees down on the streets."

FOX13 reported Wynne Police Chief Richard Dennis said multiple people were trapped and that the city suffered "total destruction" in the wake of the tornado.

Dima Amro covers the suburbs for The Commercial Appeal and can be reached at or on Twitter @AmroDima.

Lucas Finton is a news reporter with The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @LucasFinton.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Wynne, Arkansas, tornado kills 4, destroys homes, schools