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A Better Region 8: Together, we will overcome and rebuild

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM CDT
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(KAIT) -Talk about irony. The coronavirus has claimed thousands of lives across the world, including here in the United States and Arkansas.

But on Saturday, it might have actually saved lives.

Around 5 p.m., a tornado touched down in the heart of Jonesboro’s business district.

Had it been any typical Saturday, the Mall at Turtle Creek would have been crowded with shoppers.

The restaurants all along Caraway and Red Wolf would have been packed with hungry customers and their families.

Folks would have been sitting at Gateway Tire, waiting for their cars.

Others would have been weaving their way through Gamble Home Furnishings, deciding how to decorate their family homes.

But, because COVID-19 has shut down many businesses, including the mall and restaurants, and forced us to stay at home, few people were out and about Saturday afternoon when the tornado tore through.

For that, we can be thankful.

And, we can say with conviction, we can also be thankful for the Region 8 Storm Team.

The National Weather Service was hesitant to issue a tornado warning for Craighead County, but our Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan urged everyone to not let their guard down.

Thankfully, many of you heeded his warning and went to your safe spots.

We were on the air when our cameras captured the tornado touching down.

We stayed on the air for another six hours.

Our employees, both in front of and behind the cameras, rushed out to report the facts and provide much-needed information to those whose lives and livelihoods were upended by Mother Nature’s fury. Why?

Because, like you, we are Region 8 and this is our home too. And you are our neighbors and that’s what neighbors do when tragedy strikes.

It won’t be an easy road as we recover. But, by being neighborly and chipping in where we can, we can and will make this a better Region 8.

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