Still Cleaning Up In Highland One Year After Devastating Tornado Tears Through

Highland, AR (KAIT) -- One year ago Thursday, tornadoes tore their way across Region 8. One super cell dropped a twister down in Yell County near Centerville.  From there, it traveled into Pope County, killing four people in the town of Atkins.  The tornado continued to Conway County, killing two more and injuring five.  Three people died when the twister traveled on to Van Buren County. The storm then made its way into Stone County, killing one person. Two more people died when the tornado hit Izard County. By the time it lifted back into the clouds near Highland in Sharp county, this one twister had traveled more than 123 miles.

In Highland, you don't have to look to far to find someone who has a story to share about that storm.  Highland resident, Patsy Curtis, takes in the view from her back deck.  The field was covered in plush trees so thick she didn't even know this house sat in the distance. On February 5th, 2008.  She saw this house for the first time. Those trees were no match for mother nature's fury.

"You just wonder how on earth could something like this take all of these trees out and lay them out," said Curtis.

Looking at Patsy's home now, you'd never know the 2008 tornado nearly destroyed it. She says a year later, they are still cleaning up.

"The roof was gone from the house. You could see clear back in the house because this part had already come down," said Curtis.

Patsy says her family wanted her and her husband to move, but she says her heart and roots are in Highland. Despite her perseverance after the storm, Patsy says February 5th, 2008 is never far from her mind.

"You kind of feel like you know, I hope nothing else happens....and if it does, then all we can do is ask the Lord to take care of us," said Curtis.

Patsy says she will remember this somber anniversary not as the day she nearly lost everything, instead take the opportunity to give thanks for everything she has.

"We just have to keep on going," said Curtis.