Checks Available for Tornado Family Disaster Relief Fund

August 10, 2006 - Posted at 5:49 p.m. CDT

MARMADUKE, AR -- It's been just over four months since the town of Marmaduke was hit by an F-3 tornado.  Many homes and businesses were destroyed... but residents there say they were lucky no one was killed.  Good neighbors stepped up to help out afterwards... and nearly $43,000 dollars was raised locally.

"You never expect to get paid for a tornado, so its money we didn't expect to get," said tornado victim Jacqueline Whitworth.

More than 500 families will be collecting checks from the Marmaduke City from the Tornado Family Disaster Relief Fund.

"Seemingly, everybody is thankful for what they are getting, there all still coming in, we've got a big row out there now," laughed Marmaduke Mayor Nileane Drope.

With $42,925 dollars to split between all tornado victims, every family will receive a check based on the damage they suffered.

Marmaduke resident Maudie Moore's home didn't have much damage.  She received a check for $50 from the Tornado Family Disaster Relief Fund.

"We've been hauling a lot of junk out and cleaning up the yards and stuff and trying to keep the neighbor's yards clean...mowing them down and it takes a lot of gas.  And gas now is just so high, it will take $50 bucks now just to probably do three yards, just in the gas alone," said Moore.

"It will just maybe pay for a tire that I lost during the storm because they don't pay you for when you have a flat.  You don't get paid for that by your insurance.  That's about all we could buy with it," said Whitworth as she clutched her check for $100.

But Mayor Drop says the town is blessed by all of the "good neighbor" support they've received.

"A lot of money that was raised by good people from all walks of life, for which we are very, very thankful," said Mayor Drop, "We hope that no one else ever has to go through this again."