Couple escapes Wynne tornado thanks to early warnings

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:25 PM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - The cleanup efforts had just begun Saturday, with the sound of chainsaws and falling branches filling the air of a small Cross County town.

“It is nearly total destruction,” Greg McGill told Region 8 News anchor Chris Carter.

Greg and his wife Michelle, who lost their nearly 30-year-old home to the storm, were just one of the hundreds of families affected by the tornado.

“It is pretty depressing, and we are probably one of the one’s better off. It is going to take a while to recover,” Greg said.

The damage is extensive, with several homes reduced to nothing more than piles of debris.

“We’re just going to start picking up the pieces, like you see on the news,” Michelle said. “Start making a pile to keep and a pile to toss.”

Even the trees were stripped of their leaves, leaving behind a barren landscape. Family, friends, and strangers were helping the McGills pick up the pieces, including their favorite 500-year-old shade tree, Elsie, which could not withstand the force of the storm.

“She was our friend and our shade tree,” Michelle said.

The McGills rode out the storm in Jonesboro, and they don’t know if they will be able to rebuild their home in Wynne. Their neighborhood is gone, missing, and it’s unclear who will stay and who will go.

Despite the heartbreak and uncertainty, the McGills are thankful for the warning that the storm was coming, and that they were able to tell their story. They have insurance, but they are unsure if it will cover all the damage.

Like many others in the community, they plan to stay with family while they figure out what to do next.