Cleanup Continues In NW Arkansas Town Hit By Tornado

Saturday, January 1st 2011, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

CINCINNATI, Arkansas -- A Washington County Sheriff's Office sergeant says people cleaning up in a northwest Arkansas town hit by a tornado are doing "as well as can be expected."

The cleanup started early Saturday morning. Piles of debris are all that's left of dozens of houses a day after a twister tore through Cincinnati, Arkansas, killing three people.

Residents in Cincinnati, Arkansas are bulldozing their way through the New Year. What happened here sends a bigger chill than the bitter cold temperatures.

"Just blown away," said Carla Tollett, victim's niece. "You have no idea, you don't think it's going to be your family."

Buck and Mamie Wilson both died in the tornado. Their bed tangled in the tree. Their family is looking for any keepsakes they can find.

"She loved to quilt. She had many quilts in her house and we've recovered the majority of all of them and she wanted them to go to her kids," Tollett said.

Fourteen-year-old Tyler Sisemore is helping clear away debris from the spot he used to call home.

"I had actually gone to a friend's house and I got woken up at six in the morning telling me that my house had been leveled," Tyler said.

Volunteers have come from all over to pile up the rubble...and see what's salvageable.

"It's been like around here since we've lived here. When we had the ice storm, everyone came together, too. It's quite a blessing to have friends like that and people who don't even know us," said Tyler's mom Tamie Borden.

Down the street at the United Methodist Church, food, supplies, clothing and blanket donations from surrounding communities and businesses fill the pews.

"People have stopped by and given us cash, money, asking how they can help so we have just been overwhelmed," said Cincinnati resident DeNese Newbill.

The Red Cross is helping nearly 60 people displaced by the tornado, which is more than half of the town's population. The agency is offering them food and shelter, as survivors wait for a new day.

The families of the three victims are trying to plan funerals, but they're still sorting through the mess.

Washington County Sheriff's Office will be on night patrols to protect the few personal belongings left outside.

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