MONETTE, ARK. — (WREG) Two people were killed as tornadoes swept through Northeast Arkansas, and one of the hardest hit areas was a nursing home in Craighead County, about an hour from Memphis.

The damage and destruction done at Monette Manor is absolutely devastating. Despite the loss, people in this tight-knit community say they will rebuild.

“The Lord was with us last night,” Barbara Richards said, who works at Monette Manor

She came back to see the damage done to her new truck and wheelchairs as well as hospital beds scattered across the parking lot.

Barbara Richards said she was working inside Monette Manor nursing home when the tornado hit Friday night.

The gusting winds rolling through and ripping off the roof, swirling around debris and sending residents into a panic.

“We just sat their covered our heads, and I told them to calm down and just everybody pray. We just had them start singing hymns just to focus,” Barbara said.

So far, Governor Asa Hutchinson said there are two weather-related fatalities in Arkansas.

68 people were inside Monette Manor during the storm. The storm is responsible for 1 death and at least 5 other injuries.

About 10 miles away, another person was killed at a Family Dollar in Leachville.

With local emergencies already in place, Governor Asa Hutchinson said he declared a statewide emergency to help with response.

“Probably the most remarkable thing is there is not a greater loss of life,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

Monette Mayor Bob Blakenship said the town was prepared for the severe weather, giving residents a 25-minute warning.

However, the tornado was just too powerful.

“Knowing the health conditions of some that they couldn’t do anything they are at the mercy of the staff and god above what happens it breaks my heart to see that,” Bob Blankenship said, the Mayor of Monette.

With downed trees and yards covered with debris everywhere, the community is still in shock and disbelief.

“It maybe lasted 60 seconds but it felt like a lifetime. You could just feel the rumble, hear the roar,” Meghan Holland said, a resident of Monette.  

The cleanup now underway, and it’s a true testament to “many hands make for light work”.

“Pretty much everybody in this town knows everybody and we all pull together,” Chad Holland said, a resident of Monette, Arkansas.

Gov. Hutchinson said once assessments are made the state will know how much federal assistance will be needed to help with recovery.

The owner of Monette Manor said all residents have been accounted for and have been moved to an area hospital or nursing home for the time being.