- Associated Press - Sunday, April 30, 2017

A north-central Arkansas volunteer fire chief died after being struck by a vehicle early Sunday while working as heavy thunderstorms moved through, one of five confirmed storm-related fatalities in the state, an official said.

At least four other people were killed and two children are missing as a result of storms that produced at least one tornado in the state.

Arkansas State Police say Cove Creek/Pearson Fire Chief Scotty Douglas Deckard, 51, of Quitman died after being struck shortly before 3 a.m. on Highway 25 near Quitman.

Trooper Liz Chapman told The Associated Press that he was checking water levels,” when he was struck. Chapman said no other information, including whether the driver of the vehicle faces charges, will be released until the trooper investigating the accident completes a report.

Whitney Green, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said the fire chief’s death was included in the state’s count of storm-related fatalities.

There also were two fatalities in Washington County, including one person who was found dead after a water rescue effort, Green said.

Police in Springdale say a 10-year-old girl died after climbing over a fence in her backyard and being swept away by floodwaters. In Eureka Springs, firefighters say a woman was killed while riding an inner tube in a creek.

In east-central Arkansas, police say Julia Schwede was also killed Saturday when a tree was blown into her home in DeWitt.

In Madison County in northwest Arkansas, the sheriff’s office said an 18-month-old girl and a 4-year-old boy haven’t been found after the vehicle they were in was swept off a bridge near Hindsville.

An EF-1 tornado with wind speeds of 86-110 mph was confirmed near Booneville in northwest Arkansas and damaged one house, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Rickard.

The storm system moved eastward out of the state on Sunday, but a “good part of the state” still faces flooding problems, according to Rickard.

“Some of that is runoff from (Saturday) night’s rains, but we’ll be dealing with river flooding for the next few days or more,” he said.

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