Man walks through remnants of home, recalls moments before storm - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Man walks through remnants of home, recalls moments before storm hit

MCDOUGAL, AR (KAIT) - The storms hit hard and fast all over the state of Arkansas. Clay County was one of the hardest hit parts of Region 8. Though three homes were damaged in the small town of McDougal, no one was injured.

One month after his fourth back surgery, Billy Gilbee walked back to what's left of his home.

As the rain came down in what was his living room, Gilbee recalled the moments before his home and his life were turned upside down. 

Gilbee told Region 8 News that he was sitting in the living room waiting for his satellite to come back on.

"There was just about a two minute warning is all it was," Gilbee said. "Just kindly a big roar and next thing you know, glass is coming at me from the front wall."

When his front windows busted out, Gilbee said he jumped up and ran toward the kitchen.

"Roof was gone plum off of it before I was even out of the front room. I'm just lucky to make it out, we'll put i that way. I was lucky."

Gilbee, his wife and his dogs made it out alive and well. After the storm hit and as another round of rain came through, crews from Clay County arrived to carry Gilbee's salvageable items into storage.

However, as Gilbee walked us through his home, he noted most of it is a complete loss.

"Here's what's left of the bedroom...nothing."

Gilbee said this isn't his first time he's lost everything. Twenty years ago, his home burned down.

"I've started from scratch once I guess I can start from scratch once again," he said.

However, Gilbee said he won't have to do it alone.

"I've got a bunch of friends and relatives. I'll have 'em come down and help me move it out in the yard and when I get done, I may just set a match to it and burn her down and haul scrap on and off for junk. It's the only thing I know to do to try and get an extra dollar here and there," Gilbee said.

Next door, a tree uprooted and landed on Gilbee's neighbor's house. Another home in McDougal was damaged when it was shifted off its foundation.

The American Red Cross arrived in McDougal around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.

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