The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Tornado touches down at Subiaco Abbey, surrounding area

Published: June 20, 2023   
Subiaco Abbey
More than 40 trees fell at Subiaco Abbey during a tornado June 18.

SUBIACO -- A tornado hit Subiaco Abbey and the surrounding area at 12:50 a.m. Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18, leaving the town without power for more than two days.

Abbot Elijah Owens, OSB, said more than 40 trees were down at Subiaco Abbey, destroying power lines.

“Our East Park was badly damaged with trees also damaging our tennis court fence and Heard Hall dormitory,” he said. “Scaffolding and a 50-pound concrete ball fell from our roof line facade damaging our inner court roof. We had damage to our north retaining wall and our cemetery with a downed tree crushing our Marian niche devotional.”

At one point, more than 500,000 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma were without power. The abbey could keep its water running thanks to an emergency generator. Another generator was hooked up to preserve everything in their freezer.

St. Benedict Church’s cemetery was damaged, with fallen trees and mangled fencing. The air conditioning on the roof of the parish center was blown off.

Abbot Owens said parishioner Tom Strobel had his two chicken houses destroyed when their roofs were pulled off. He said it happened to several chicken and turkey houses in the area.

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