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Botkinburg Continues Recovery One Month After Tornado

Much of Van Buren County is still dealing with debris after the storm.


BOTKINBURG, AR- One month after a tornado tore through the town of Botkinburg, the community continues to clean up. And recovery from the EF-2 tornado hasn't come without struggles.

Ester Bass is the senior pastor of the Botkinburg Foursquare Church. He recalls the moment he learned his church had been severely damaged.

"I got a call that said we'd been hit," Bass said, "My heart just sunk. You know, we'd worked a solid year every weekend to build it."

But in about five seconds, it had been leveled. The fourth tornado to hit Van Buren County since 2008 carved a 16 mile path, leveling homes and destroying properties.

"You don't know what to do," said Vaun Buren County Judge Roger Hooper, "And you're at a loss and you don't know which way to turn."

Burn piles, mangled metal and debris are still in trees, evidence of the destructive force that moved through the town. The county has put a dent in the cleanup process, but full restoration is a long way away.

"Maybe ten percent at best," Hooper said, "It's gonna take a long time."

It's a lot to come back from but places like Botkinburg Foursquare Church say they will.

"It's gonna be safer than it was before," Bass said.

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