NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The damage looks as if it was unavoidable on Military Drive in North Little Rock. No one was on the scene to clean up their battered, open homes, but utility crews are working hard.
What once was 15,000 outages in the city turned to 5,000 by Sunday, but it could take a full week until everyone without power is restored.
“You see it on the news. You see it on the TV. It’s just a completely different feeling when it’s your home,” Brent Long said.
Brent Long has been cleaning up his parent’s home on Osage Drive in the Indian Hills neighborhood since he saw the tornado move right in front of him Friday.
“All around me. It tried to suck my car up,” Long described adding a tree fell just seconds away from where he once was.
Long lives in Conway, and he’s seen people from across central Arkansas and beyond lending a hand or offering a prayer.
Mayors of North Little Rock and Sherwood echoed that if their towns are going to recovery, it will be with the help of volunteers, donations, and resources without and within.
“When this tornado went through, it didn’t stop at the boundaries,” North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick stated.
“To kind of hold our hand and help us do this has been absolutely incredible,” Sherwood Mayor Mary Jo Heye-Townsell said to Mayor Hartwick.
On Kiehl Avenue and surrounding streets, Sherwood also looks like a toy box shaken and spilled on the floor. Dan McInturff Jr. was in his bedroom when half of his house was crushed by trees. At 85, he couldn’t recover alone, but he didn’t have to.
“Everybody has just done a tremendous job of helping out. There’s a lot of wonderful people in the world, and a lot of them live in Sherwood thank goodness,” McInturff Jr. said.
And it’s gratitude from Sherwood to North Little Rock and the rest of Arkansas, people can’t communicate enough.
“It’s just incredible the way people have come together these Church groups have come out. We can’t thank them enough,” Brent Long stated.
One could of the only good things to come out of this disaster is seeing neighbors and communities rally together to lift each other up. Officials are hoping they won’t see too large a drop off in volunteers once the work week begins.
According to North Little Rock Superintendent Dr. Gregory J. Pilewski, there will be no school Monday across the North Little Rock School District, but staff and bus drivers will be called in to prepare for the rest of the week.
Each campus should return to normal operations by Tuesday apart from Amboy Elementary. Sylvan Hills Elementary’s return on Tuesday is pending.