Tornado Ravaged Town Continues Cleanup

March 16, 2007 -- Posted at 5:19 p.m. CDT

MARMADUKE , AR-- For the town of Marmaduke, it's been a long year after a tornado tore through the town on April 2nd.

While the town has done a lot of rebuilding, they are hoping that by putting the finishing touches on the park and community center Marmaduke will truly be on the road to recovery.

New mayor Byron Phillips doesn't always dress like your typical politician.

"I got my oldest pair of jeans on, I am going to go over and do some work. My job is not always right here," said Phillips.

Since April 2nd's tornado, Phillips' job consists of whatever the town needs done.

"We have lost our Mayberry town, just because times have changed," said Phillips.

One of the hardest hit areas was the town's park and community center.

"Anything that could be torn off was.  Ceiling, lights, but that was just the beginning of the problem," said Phillips.

Now the walls and a roof are back on the community center and the city is making improvements they hope will make the center better than ever.

"We've already got the building 90% done. All we need are some walls and we've got a new city hall. Plus it opens up the community center, kids now have access to it everyday," said Phillips.

Currently Phillips' office is in a building originally built for the fire department and with a desk and a bookcase, it's a tight fit.

"We're out of room here, it's an old building, when it rains, it floods here," said Phillips.

While it will be nice to have a new office, Phillips feels moving city hall into the community center is more important for the town's morale.

"The reason I want to move city hall is so that we unlock that door and come in the community center is open for us. Let's play ball, let's play volleyball, let's have a good time," said Phillips.

By having a completed city park and community center, hope is now springing eternal in Marmaduke.

"Marmaduke is coming back folks," said Phillips.

The road to recovery has been a long one for Marmaduke and other cities hit nearly one year ago.

Join KAIT April 2nd at 6:30 p.m. for a special program as Region 8 remembers April 2nd, 2006.