Gray Sky Event: Tornado Pummels Arkansas

It’s early spring and destructive weather events are popping up in several regions across the U.S. This past Wednesday, March 30, a tornado rated as an EF-3 tore through parts of Arkansas, shredding buildings, uprooting trees, and leaving many homes completely destroyed. With winds reaching up to 145 mph, the tornado stretched 350 yards wide and cut a path of 5.2 miles long. To make matters worse, rain began to fall, pouring into homes that no longer had roofs for a shelter. Springdale was the hardest hit community where on some streets, no home was left untouched.

Our Gray Sky team mobilized quickly after this catastrophic event occurred, getting in the air as soon as possible when it was safe to fly. Our mission for our Gray Sky program is to collect aerial imagery after a disaster and deliver it within 24 hours after wheels down on our planes. It assists our members in helping them quickly identify if they have impacted customers and begin proactively reaching out for support and to start the restoration process. Emergency managers are also given the same imagery so they can quickly assess where the hardest areas are and what the scope of damage looks like.

Below is a gallery of some of the neighborhoods impacted by this tornado, including a few before and after images so you can compare our Blue Sky imagery against our Gray Sky imagery.