Story Of Survival During Halloween Tornado In Caraway, AR
(Caraway, AR) The power is back on in the town of Caraway, Arkansas after an EF-1 tornado gave people a real scare on Halloween.
The clean up is far from over, but people are thankful they survived the powerful storm and that no one was seriously injured or killed.
There are stories or survival and how people in the small town helped one another through a frightening night.
Dee Dee Drummonds’ voice is still filled with emotion days after an EF-1 tornado hit her hometown of Caraway, Arkansas.
“You have no clue how lucky we are. We’re just lucky,” said Drummonds.
The Halloween night twister was a lot more of a trick than treat for children and adults.
Florence Davis was well into the Halloween spirit.
“We was passing out Halloween candy and we had, I don’t know, there was a lot of kids in the yard at the time,” said Davis.
Davis said when the wind began howling and Caraway’s tornado siren went off, she grabbed as many kids as she could and headed toward her concrete storm shelter.
“Actually we were kind of carrying a bunch of them and just kind of getting them all in (tossing motion) like that,” Florence Davis said.
She figures there were as many as fifty children and adults crammed inside the concrete block shelter and sitting anywhere they could.
Davis said they were sitting on wooden benches, on the dirt and in each other’s laps.
She said the scene in the shelter very chaotic, but everyone survived the storm.
“Children were screaming, crying, wanting moms and dads,”said Davis.
Monday, crews were still cleaning the hardest hit areas of Caraway and Craighead County.
The Red Cross closed it’s shelter, but Monday volunteers were still handing out hot meals from the Red Cross mobile disaster unit.
Jody Carter, Disaster Zone Manager for Northeast Arkansas, said Red Cross volunteers distributed three-thousand meals since arriving in Caraway and provided many other services to storm victims.
He said the agency will continue to assist victims even after volunteers leave the disaster area.
“We’ve already identified families that have specific needs. And we’re going to continue to reach out to them, either from our office in Jonesboro or our office in Blytheville. And we can have volunteers here in a matter of minutes,” said Carter.
A disaster team from the Southern Baptist Convention served almost two-thousand meals and provided chain saws and even hot showers for people without electricity.
The group packed up and left Caraway on Monday after completing their mission.
Team leader Don Settles said volunteers, based in Corning, Arkansas, view every disaster as a chance to give from their hearts.
“They know that they’re here giving a loaf of bread or a cup of water in the name of the Lord. And it’s helping people…they just want to help people,” said Don Settles.
The outpouring of love and concern has been overwhelming to people like Jona Dixon.
“We had hot meals, they gave us water, they gave us coolers, they gave us gloves, they gave up rakes. I mean, what more could you ask for in time of disaster,” said Jona Dixon.