Stats

Path length: 18 miles

Width:  233 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  53

Rating:  F3

County:  Saline, Pulaski

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 34.58 / -92.47      End: 34.85 / -92.27

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Summary

A total of 29 tornadoes pushed through four states on December 2, 1982. Nine twisters were in Arkansas, five of which were given an F3 rating. We look at one of those in this summary.  

This tornado moved 18 miles through parts of Saline and Pulaski Counties. It developed near Bryant and moved through Alexander to West Little Rock to Crystal Hill. 86 mobile homes were destroyed/damaged in Saline County. There was one fatality at a mobile home in Alexander.

Per the NWS Little Rock, “The damage path expanded to about 10 blocks wide in West Little Rock with some areas of wind damage up to 20 blocks wide.” 100+ homes in West Little Rock had extensive damage. John W. Mason Jr., 68, was killed while traveling on I-430.  A piece of sheet metal was driven into his windshield.  His wife was seriously injured. James McDougal, 65, died in his mobile home near Alexander. Approximately 600 buildings in Pulaski County and 150 in Saline County had some degree of damage. 

Videos

In Loving Memory

James Fletcher McDougal, 65

John Wesley Mason Jr., 68

Newspaper Clippings

Fayetteville Northwest Arkansas Times, Dec 3, 1982. Clipped from newspaperarchive.com

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the December 1982 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 233 mile path length.
  • Grazulis lists a width of 250 yards.
  • Storm Data has a width of 700 yards.

          Sources:

          The Storm Prediction Center

          NCDC Storm Events Database

          December 1982 Storm Data Publication

          newspapers.com

          Find a Grave

          The Times-Shreveport (LA). 4 Dec 1982, Page 1. Newspapers.com.

          Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1244.

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