Governor Huckabee Surveys Damage

March 10, 2006--Posted at 5:45 p.m. CST

MORTON, AR--Residents from across Region 8 had a major cleanup following strong straight line winds and even a tornado that reaped havoc on the area. Friday Governor Huckabee was in Woodruff County to survey the damage in one of the hardest hit areas.

"This looks like one of the hardest areas hit in the state over here in Woodruff County near the Cross County line and we are now up to 10 counties that have declared a disaster area," said Governor Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee toured the town of Morton Friday after an F-2 tornado ripped through the town Thursday injuring 6, damaging 20 homes, and destroying 4 homes like Cleo Cain's.

"It will be tough, I am 75-years-old and this is all I know to do and this broke me yesterday," said Cain.

In addition to loosing his home and several grain bins, Cain also lost two trailers, his shop, and another house across the street. And the worst part of it all was up until a week ago he was fully insured.

"All the farmers are broke and I didn't have enough money to pay premiums if I had enough and it had blown away last week I would have been covered," said Cain.

After losing money this past year in the farming business, Cain didn't have the money to pay for this year's insurance and was forced to take a risk without it.

"This is another blow to farmers who have had a very tough year with drought and high diesel prices," said Huckabee.

"Well I have run out of money, just like all the farmers. We are all out of money, a lot won't tell you they are but they are out too," said Cain.

So what is next for Cleo who estimates the tornado destroyed close to a million dollars of his livelihood?

"I don't know it is too early for me. I will have to look around, I don't know what I am going to do," said Cain.

"Something like this can be a setback and in some cases it can be the tipping point for a farmer being in or out of business," said Huckabee.

The state is still receiving damage assessment from all of the hard hit areas and Governor Huckabee did say that if the state met the threshold of damage, Arkansas would apply for federal assistance.