Pope County has been declaired a National Disaster Area. The town of Atkins, where the tornado began it's 100 mile long tirade, is 10 miles from us.
Randy, a man who works for Ted in the warehouse, and an Atkins resident, lost everything. He was in his home when he opened the front door and came face to face with the oncomming tornado. They ran out to a car, Randy and his wife, thier adult daughter and her 2 month old baby, plus 3 dogs. They backed away from the house just before the tornado struck. Thier house is a total loss. If they had stayed, they would be dead. The barn and chicken house are gone. All but 6 of thier 20 some goats were killed. The pony had to be euthanized. 3 vehicles, 2 tractors and 1 motorcycle are totaled, including the car they were in. These people hunched down in the floor boards of thier car while the tornado went right over them. The windows blew out and debris blew in, but no one was injured. Even the dogs survived. We will be bringing his surviving goats over here for the time being. We've taken them some food. But what else can you do? He has absolutely nothing left. He has lived on that land for 30 years, clearing it, building the house, the barn and fences, a new corral......all gone and now just a twisted mass of tree limbs, debris and metal.
A neighbor and his family have lost thier entire house...all but the bathroom blew away. Good thing that's where they were hiding.
An elderly gentleman down the street was killed when his entire house was blown away.
Another resident (a couple of miles away), his wife and thier, 11 year old daughter were all killed.
The girls and I drove over to Atkins today. We probably shouldn't have. We stayed out of the way, but managed to get some pictures. This is not Randy's area, but a couple of miles away. This tornado was on the ground for 100 miles. It killed over 50 people in several states. 27 in Arkansas, 4 of those in our county.
This cow was alone in a large field that was riddled with depris. I am certain that she is severely injured. Soon after this picture was taken she layed down and continued to drool and hang her tongue. Hopefully, someone will come and put her out of her misery soon. You wonder where her herd mates are? There wasn't another bovine anywhere in sight.
This vehicle was several yards off the road. The orange paint is some kind of code used by rescue workers indicating that the truck had been searched. There were many vehicles like this along the road and in fields. Remember, this tornado came after dark.
This is a field of planks, sticks and steel, planted by the tornado like a row crop.
Please pray for the victims and survivors of this disaster.