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Residents Concerned Mayor's Decision Put Lives at Risk

In the wake of a tornado in Clark County, people of a small town there are questioning the decision making of city leaders. Some say the mayor put lives in danger simply by changing a few locks.
AMITY, AR - In the wake of a tornado in Clark County, people of a small town there are questioning the decision making of city leaders. Some say the mayor put lives in danger simply by changing a few locks.

The mayor of Amity says the recent storm system that produced the tornado that destroyed a home reminds them how important it is to maintain their system of alert. However, the city had no alert that day.

Some of the blaming fingers point to him because the doors to city hall were locked and may have put some families in a life threatening situation.

When the storms swept through, Brittany Singelton was at home with her two children, two nieces and the baby she's carrying.

"I looked out my front window and could see it and started getting the kids together," said Singelton.

Singelton said that's all the time she had. She says they'd usually hear tornado sirens. However that day, there was nothing. She covered her children with a mattress.

"I think it would have helped give me a little bit more warning," said Singelton.

Retired Amity Police Chief and current volunteer firefighter Stephen Huston claims they tried but no one had access to turn the siren on. He says when officials went to the building, it was locked.

"The locks were changed on the building and keys were not given to all the people that really needed access," said Huston.

All fingers seem point to Amity Mayor Chester Clark.

"I can only place the blame on the mayor himself," said Huston.

Mayor Clark says the three people authorized to have keys now weren't in town. But according to volunteer firefighter Huston, there were others that had keys to get in but because locks were changed couldn't. "It's beyond my comprehension that that would be allowed to happen," added Huston.

While she her kids are alive to share her story, Singleton wishes she had more time and maybe her and her little boy wouldn't have the cuts, bumps and bruises they have today.

"If I had heard the sirens it would have given me a little bit more time to be prepared," said Huston.

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