Region 8 Family Sticks Together After the Storm - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lafe, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

Region 8 Family Sticks Together After the Storm

April 5, 2006--Posted at 11:00 pm

LAFE--You've seen much of the devastation the tornado caused in Marmaduke, but tonight we'd like to share a different story.

The story of a closely knit family who is determined to pick up the pieces...

So determined... They won't leave home... Even though they've lost everything.

This family lives just outside of Marmaduke in Lafe.

The Johnson family is in good spirits... Regardless of what they've lost.

They have family... John and Sammie Johnson made a home with their three boys, just next door to sammie's parents.

But they are still haunted by the sounds that took their home away.

 "A lot of wind and tin crushing and the floor wiggling like a water bed," John Johnson says.

Even more frightening... Everything they've lost.

 "A big pile of the last 13 years of my life was lying in a big pile... A big hunk in the neighbors yard," Sammie Johnson says.

The Johnson's and their in-laws set up house right where there front yards used to be.

The sidewalk still shows signs of home, but these tents aren't quite as comforting.

 "It's home. You don't want to leave it," Sammie's father Carl Farmer says.

There's nothing left of John and Sammie's home... The remnants are piled up across the street... And they just found out today, their without homeowners insurance. But even though they've lost a lot, they're just glad to be alive.

It's hard to believe the devastation a tornado can cause. Carl Farmers trailer was totally devistated... The roof was blown off, glass is shattered everywhere, and what's even harder to believe... Both John and Carl were inside when the tornado hit.

"I was thinking get down out of the way of the windows with the glass that was flying around. John  went down on the floor. I just got down in front of my easy chair," Carl says.

"Afterwards, it was scary. Then I realized yeah... I could've died," John says.

The Johnson's are anything but dead. They're embracing the life they've always known in the place they grew up. Along with friends, they're picking up the pieces.

"I'm honestly perfectly happy. I'm content... We're out here, and I can't get over the number of people that drive down this road everyday and stop," Sammie says.

The Johnson boys, along with many other kids are out of school due to the damage to the Marmaduke School District.

There is a Marmaduke tornado relief fund if you'd like to help, send your donations to 1010 Greyhound Drive in Marmaduke, 72443.

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