• FEATURED:
    LIVE VIDEO: THV 11 at 10:00 pm    Watch
     

    EF2 Tornado touches down in Botkinburg, causing damage

    8:45 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
    • Share
    • Print
    • - A A A +
    • FILED UNDER

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KHTV) -- We are learning more about the damage in Van Buren County.

    Storm surveyors said it was an EF2 tornado that touched down in Van Buren County yesterday afternoon. It touched ground near Scotland, Ark. and was on the ground for 17 miles.

    The tornado took out the departments radio tower, and they were without communications for a while; it's since been restored. In addition, part of the Botkinburg Foursquare Church was destroyed as well as homes in the immediate area.

    A lot of people said they took shelter moments before the storm hit and came out to find all of the destruction.

    "I just knew something bad was fixing to happen. I could feel it," said Heather Everett, who came out of her home to find the small town of Botkinburg in shambles. "It's our community and this is where people live and it affects everyone."

    "Not to have any fatalities is amazing," said Van Buren County Judge Roger Hooper.

    Five homes are total losses, and more than 40 more are damaged. Four people were injured, but amazing, no lives were lost.

    "I've never had one of them affect me personally until now," said Ashley Crouse. "They said there were tornadoes coming this way. I was watching the weather, and the TV went out, and I was trying to pull it up on my computer and watch the radar, and I heard a freight train."

    Crouse and her family left their home and hid beneath an overhang within a ridge outside.

    "Our whole life was in there....now, we're going to pick it all up and put it in storage and find somewhere else to rent," she said.

    She also said her family did not have insurance.

    The small community of just a few thousand will work to rebuild, and they are thankful that they are all here to help each other.

    "It's unbelievable how powerful weather can be and how destructive it can be. Just to think that I'm three miles down the road, and it could have been us just as easily as it was them, so it's scary," said Everett.

    Near Botkinburg, the residents of Scotland are also trying to pick up the pieces.

    A man named Kenny Pratt said he headed for his basement as soon as he saw the forecast show a warning for his area. While taking shelter, he tried to open the door, but was thrown back when winds ripped the door from its hinges.

    "When the door flew off, I could see it up in the air, spinning around along with trees and stuff," he described.

    Pratt, along with his wife, is now taking refuge at a hotel in Clinton. Heavy rains soaked the inside of their home after fallen tree left gaping holes in the roof.

    "I'm not so much upset as I am kind of awestruck at what this did," added Pratt, but the emotions ran higher with his wife, who was mainly upset about the trees coming down. Pratt said that was one of main things she loved about the property.

    Most of the Pratts' possessions were spared.

    Hooper said he expects the number of homes with reported damage to rise as they get into areas that they have not been able to reach. People have been working with chain saws to cut down trees and power lines that have blocked their access to other areas of the county.

    Hooper added that this isn't the first time they've dealt with something like this. Five years ago, in 2008, a tornado hit Clinton just a few miles south.

    A lot of people said this was the second time they had gone through that amount of property loss and damage to their area.

    Most Watched Videos