Town Torn Apart---Residents in Good Spirits - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Caruthersville, MO -- Gia Hill Reports

Town Torn Apart---Residents in Good Spirits

April 7, 2006 -- 5:40 PM CST


CARUTHERSVILLE, MO -- Caruthersville, MO, was affected by the ferocious twister that damaged several parts of Region 8.


Residents there said it felt like the movie, "War of the Worlds."


"It was just like you see in the movies," said Kim Helfer, homeowner.   " I was unreal."    


Homes were shredded, debris covered the city and residents tried to find some good out of the horrible situation.


"We are fortunate…better than others," said Helfer.   " Some people don't have anything, but we do have a little to work with."


Kenneth Twilla of Caruthersville was in good spirits considering a tree toppled onto his home.


"I'm just glad to be alive," said Twilla.   "I was in it when it hit.    Two days after it hit, I was the happiest person you’d ever seen," he said.   


Twilla said that he never thought he would ever be in the middle of devastation.


"I've seen tornadoes, but I've never been this close to one," said Twilla.   "T his one...I could here this one churning the ground," he added.     


Despite all the turmoil, Twilla was able to find a silver lining through flowers that he and his wife planted just days ago.  


"We have an azalea over there that's blooming so we'll have a little decoration over here," he said.


Damage was scattered as far as the eye can see.    Power lines were down, trees were uprooted and crews were working overtime to get the job done.  


"We've been here since Monday," said Marilyn Morgan of M issouri Disaster Relief.   "Some of the crew was called out as early as Sunday night, right after it happened, just to clean the debris off of the road," she said.     


Disaster assistance from the U .S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been made available for homewners, renters and business owners.  


Affected residents and business owners may apply for assistance immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).


Help was in the area Friday, but it will be a long time before residents can call their damaged houses homes again.  




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