County judge reflects six months after tornado

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 6:25 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - For many of us, March 28, 2020, will be an afternoon many in Jonesboro will not forget.

That afternoon, an EF-3 tornado tore through the city of Jonesboro, leaving behind a path of destruction from I-555 to just outside of Brookland.

What would have been a bustling Jonesboro on the last Saturday of Spring Break was not as busy due to COVID-19, and like most people Craighead County Judge Marvin Day was spending it at home relaxing.

“That Saturday for me was really just a day to decompress,” Day said. “We’d had a pretty long week the week before and others needed to rest.”

His day consisted of watching Netflix until he got the alert.

“I got a weather alert from Channel 8 on my phone that said, 'Hey you need to pay attention to what’s going on.”>

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning just southwest of Jonesboro in Jackson and Woodruff counties, so he paused the show he was watching and starting paying attention to the weather.

“I’ve been on the phone with the sheriff, you know, his house is in the Valley View community and we were trying to figure out, you know, hey what’s going on.”

Judge Day said he was running back and forth between his porch and his safe spot, trying to figure out what was going on.

“I felt that that wind, pick up and go by my house, and I thought, oh, we’ve got trouble.”

After the storm hit, his concern turned to the community he loves.

“So when I heard really the big damage at the mall I went straight there, and I was actually directing traffic for probably the first 30-45 minutes.”

A command post was set up at the mall, and the help from all around started pouring in.

"You know that was, that was one of the most humbling experiences, to say the least. When you,

when you look up and you realize how great a community that we live in."

There were negative impacts economically since we lost some businesses due to the storm, but there have also been positive impacts.

“Positive of the amount of houses that are being rebuilt, which is creating jobs for our community and in a lot of building materials being bought, so it’s been kind of interesting to see how that’s happened.”

And through it, all Judge Day said one thing that has made a big impact on him is how everybody has come together.

“This is for me as a citizen of Craighead County, it makes me know that we’ve got great people here that knows what they’re doing, and they did a wonderful job and I want to thank you.”

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