Piggott Faces Long Road to Recovery

JONESBORO --  One of the hardest hit areas by this ice storm is undoubtedly Clay county.  Every home and business lost power, and getting back to normal will take weeks, if not a month.  In Piggott, townspeople are coming to grips with what looks like a long road to recovery.

Travel is just one of many obstacles people in this small community riddled by old man winter's fury.   Power lines appear like cobwebs and transformers flat to the ground--no match for the heavy weight of ice that brought them down.

"The situation as it stands right now as you can see, we're devastated," said Gerald Morris, the mayor of Piggott.  "It's probably the worst natural disaster that I've ever seen in this area."  The city's power grid was completely wiped out by the storm.   Now, the process of building back begins--first by re-establishing electricity with Southwestern power, a huge electrical supplier.  In the meantime, concern grows for those who have no family and no where to go.

"We don't have any heat,"  exlained Markie Nimmo, mother of three.  "We have no way to heat the house. It's primarily electric and the only thing we have is hot water."

Nimmo spent the night at the local shelter in Piggott with her children.

"I just don't know how we're going to make it," said Nimmo.  "I work in Bluff (Poplar Bluff). I'm a nurse at the hospital up in bluff and I don't know how i'm going to get up there.  I don't know where my children are going to go."

Others in the town believe this is not the worst they've seen.

"This is nothing, " said Mark Lemmel as he removed debris from a nearby yard.  "I'm from Washington and Alaska.

Lemmel is using the opportunity to find work...clearing debris from yards.  Taking limbs that appear chewed right through and shattered branches to the street for removal.

It's all in a day's work; but for many who live here... The concern is for days beyond today--and dealing with the circumstances mother nature has left behind.

"Your whole life changes," said Nimmo.  "I don't get scared.  But I don't know how we're going to make it."