Nineteen Years Ago, Tornado Rips Through Beebe

Jan 25th, 2018 | By | Category: Top Story

People who lived in Beebe on January 21st, 1999 at 7:30 p.m., will never forget the night an F3 tornado ripped through Beebe. Hundreds of lives could easily have been lost had it not been for the courageous decision to call off basketball games at the high school gym shortly before the tornado hit. Several homes were destroyed as well as churches, fire station and other buildings. Even the mayor, Mayor Donald Ward and his family were injured and their home destroyed. Jim Wooten – a local citizen and friend of the mayor – was called in to help take charge and he and the council, police, Ark. National Guard and lots of volunteers did a phenomenal job of cleaning up and helping those in need. The tornado also hit McRae and damaged numerous structures. President Bill Clinton even visited Beebe to survey the destruction.