Northeast Arkansas hit hard by severe weather

TRUMANN, Ark. — Severe storms moved through Northeast Arkansas Thursday afternoon, downing trees, power lines, and destroying buildings.

Frankie Ray could be buried under mounds of concrete, but he thought fast and it likely saved his life.

“I was just working and had 55 gallon barrels of burnt stuff,” he told us. “It probably weighed 400 pounds and they went flying past the door. I figured I better get under the truck because that was the heaviest thing around.”

When he came out, there wasn’t much left of his office, just mounds of concrete cinder blocks, which looked like they were toppled over like a child’s Lego set.

Many neighborhoods were cleaning up from huge trees that fell.

“The sky was black and you could see light green. I said I got to get the baby and I ran straight to the bathroom,” said Christian Swanson.

He huddled inside as a huge tree slammed onto the roof.

“I was praying to god, that’s all I can do,” said Swanson.

Their roof held, but just blocks away, the Manes family weren’t as lucky. They recently lost their dad, and now their last physical connection to him appears gone too.

“This house, I could walk in here, and remember how he smelled. I have so many memories,” said Alescia Manes

The storm, while painful, still helped bring the community together, to lend a hand and remind one another they’ll be OK.

Insurance agent David Tyler says it to others all the time, but this time he was a victim. The roof ripped off his three historic buildings in downtown Lepanto, and his staff was inside as the building’s roof lifted into the air.

“We are worn out, and emotionally drained and physically drained,” said Tyler.

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