WYNNE, Ark. — Wynne public schools are closed this week after the high school was destroyed during Friday’s deadly tornado outbreak, and some students and community members are using their time to give back.
Monday morning, inmates with the Arkansas Department of Corrections in Osceola were helping clean up storm debris near Wynne High School. Nearby, hundreds of electricity workers were also in Wynne helping restore power that was knocked out after the storm.
Nancey Jumper lives in Wynne, and her home suffered storm damage. On Monday, she was set up outside New Life church giving away donations.
“We are trying to give back to the community by giving back what has been donated to us for people that were victims of the tornado that maybe need clothing or food whatever,” she said.
Jumper said she was excited to see the work crews roll into town.
“People from all over have come to do work for the telephone companies and electrical companies. They put their lives in jeopardy to come help other people,” she said.
As crews worked to bring back lights, McDonald’s workers brightened up people’s day by handing out free meals. Many of the workers were high school students using their day off to pack cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and fries served from the McDonald’s McRig since the restaurant does not have electricity.
“They send to areas that are impacted by events like this, so we contacted McDonald’s and were able to secure the rig for the families that need it for the next couple of days,” said restaurant owner Greg Madison.
The restaurant owners live in Memphis and they have been in the Wynne community for the last five years. They said when they heard what happened, they wanted to do what they could to give back.
“What I have learned about Wynne over the last five years, they take care of one another in times of need. We are doing everything we can to give back to the community and the folks that we see every single day in our restaurant,” Madison said.
The National Weather Service said it was an EF-3 tornado that touched down in Wynne.