Volunteers galore; homeowners describe scene in Jonesboro after tornado
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Homes without roofs, people without a place to stay, continued to push through and clean up the devastation left by the tornado this weekend.
Homeowners Bill and Karen Slicer in Bridger Place neighborhood said the the experience was chaotic.
“Huge pieces of wood just coming at you through the ceiling,” Karen said. “You could hear things crashing, sucking, and just coming down around you and that’s why I thought it was going to pull us out.”
She said they saw the tornado coming directly towards their house from their back porch that is no longer there.
They then ran into the house, grabbed pillows, blankets and hid in their bathroom.
“The minute we shut the bathroom and sat down, we felt our whole house being demolished and sucked up,” she said. “We could hear it; we could hear it.”
The glass shattered, light switches pulled, and all normalcy was gone. The neighborhood that was once normal, now mostly unrecognizable.
Bill said strangers and volunteers came by the handful and he called them “angels.”
The Slicer family plans to rebuild right where their house stands. They consider the area home.
Among the “angels,” Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, commonly known as the people in yellow, came to help.
“People say, you know, it’s a blessing you’re here coming here and doing this,” Jay Paul Woods said. “Yes, it’s a blessing for us, that we get to do that. It’s our goal, it’s our job, it’s why we’re here.”
He says around 50-60 volunteers with the effort came to lend a helping hand. Woods says he considers no fatalities a blessing.
“Twenty-two injuries, mostly minor from an EF3 tornado that hit dead center of the town, that’s God taking care of you,” Woods said.
Around 200 other volunteers can come to the area. Woods says the number of volunteers from Northeast Arkansas is astounding.
He suggests for people at home to continue to pray for those who need help getting back to normal.
“God’s in control. Give it to him. Let Jesus handle it,” he says. “We love you and Jesus loves you and that’s the message we want to get out.”
For help at your home, call 501-258-6411 or go to the Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief location at Journey Church, 1701 Disciple Dr.
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