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Officials urge residents to remain resilient in aftermath of Jonesboro tornado

Curfew to remain in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice
Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 5:20 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Nearly a week after an EF-3 tornado hammered the city of Jonesboro, both city and county leaders stressed the importance of working together and the support of volunteers in dealing with a very traumatic situation.

Both Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and Craighead County Judge Marvin Day spoke Thursday at a 4 p.m. press conference to discuss the March 28 tornado as well as work on COVID-19.

Perrin said both disasters have forced leaders and residents to look at adjustments and to make hard decisions. The mayor said residents cannot get frustrated and must work to make the best of the situation.

Perrin thanked first responders and volunteers who helped Jonesboro during the tornado and its aftermath. The tornado, according to the National Weather Service, pushed 140 mph winds into Jonesboro and injured 22 people.

Day said the Civil Air Patrol flew over Jonesboro Wednesday with state emergency management officials in an attempt to determine whether or not the city could receive federal or state disaster relief.

The city had 135 houses destroyed, Day said.

The mayor was also asked about the COVID-19 issue.

Perrin said he will contact the Governor’s office if he sees the numbers in Jonesboro spike, about the possibility of a shelter in place police. Perrin said he doesn’t believe Jonesboro has reached the COVID-19 curve and that residents must be able to adapt to the issue.

The April 7 Jonesboro City Council is closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. However, Perrin said residents can send in questions and comments to councilcomments@jonesboro.org.

Both Perrin and Day spoke about how groups have helped people in recent days.

Various groups like the United Way, American Red Cross, Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and area churches have volunteered their time since the tornado happened.

People needing financial assistance for houses destroyed or mainly destroyed can call the American Red Cross at 417-447-7180, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or the United Way for immediate needs and financial assistance at 870-935-3658.

Both Perrin and Day were joined by Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott during the press conference.

Elliott said the city will still be under a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each evening, until further notice, citing current need.

Elliott also asked people to avoid Prospect Road as crews continue to work in the area.

Crews are working to remove large trees in the area, Elliott said.

Elliott also asked residents who are in need of work to be done at their homes or businesses to check for a yellow tag, paperwork and a city privilege license for a contractor to work in Jonesboro.

He said if residents do not see any of those items, to not allow the contractor to do any work.

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