Marmaduke Family Tries to Get House Ready Before FEMA Takes Trailer Away

MARMADUKE, AR -- Sixteen months after the tornados swept through Marmaduke some residents there are still living in FEMA trailers.

The Johnson family's house was one of just a few houses that was left standing in their neighborhood.  Now, they have about a month and a half until FEMA takes their temporary assistance trailer away.

"If we don't have a house to get back into I don't know what we're going to do," said Rebecca Johnson.

Darren and Rebecca Johnson have four children living in a three bedroom FEMA trailer.  It's been a year and a half since the tornado hit, but the Johnson's have had a string of bad luck.  The house was built in the early 1900's, and sustained some major damage during the storm.  However, insurance adjustors didn't feel it was bad enough to tear town.

Johnson said most contractors wouldn't touch the house and the one's that did would take the money, but not do the job.

"We finally found one that said they would do it for what insurance paid and they came and did part of it, messed it up, and disappeared," said Johnson.

After getting turned down by multiple contractors, they were given the name of another one but this time they got lucky.

Rolley Johnson heard about the family's situation, and decided to do the work free of charge.  Rebecca Johnson said they gave him the remainder of their insurance money to do the work, but after that was gone he's going to finish the job on his own dollar.  Mrs. Johnson said that they buy most of the materials being used to rebuild the house, but their builder has even dug into his wallet to pitch in.

With the quickly approaching deadline, and a lot of work left to do this family is worried about what they will do if they can't move back in on time.

If you or someone you know would like to help this family finish their home, you can call K8's Brandi Hodges at 870-336-1876 or e-mail to