April 6, 2006 – Posted at 4:19 p.m. CST
MARMADUKE, AR -- Sunday's storms destroyed hundreds of building in the small Greene County town. And as residents begin picking up the pieces, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is already taking steps to rebuild lives and the surrounding community.
The Arkansas Tornado Recovery and Community Enhancement Team has set up shop at the fire station in Marmaduke...and that's the starting point for most folks.
"It's a long process and they are doing the best they can," said Marmaduke Police Chief Steve Franks.
As tornado survivors begin to trickle in, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is stepping up.
"You just come up and kind of tell them what kind of help you need and they just direct you to somebody who is there and they were wonderful," said tornado survivor Kim Neff.
"They are helping people who don't have any housing. Those whose houses have been destroyed, they are trying to find them some places to stay, to live," said Franks.
An estimated 750 residents are now without housing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is still assessing the damage and there's been no word yet when they will be available for assistance. But resident have also been able to get help from the American Red Cross.
"They were issuing out little cards to help us out at places like Wal-Mart and just stuff that. We have lost so much and that helps us out right now and they have just been a wonderful blessing to us," said Dena Nelson, who lost her home and all of her possessions in the storm.
But even with all the help, the rebuilding process will be a slow one.
"We got hit with a tornado back in 1997," said Franks, "That tornado...it wasn't nothing compared to what we got hit with this time. I think we will be able to recover, but it is going to take help and a lot of time."