Van Buren County fire department checks in on tornado victims

    11:04 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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    VAN BUREN COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) -- In advance of the severe weather, some emergency officials in Van Buren County checked in on the victims from last week's tornado. They want to see if they need anything for a possible second round hitting the state.

    THV 11 News rode along Wednesday with the fire chief for the Walnut Grove Fire Department. Chief Royce Johnson said that his crew has actually been doing daily check-ups on the tornado victims there, but with another possible round of severe weather on Thursday, he's making sure Wednesday's visit doesn't get missed.

    "Most people know about the weather coming in, and they are talking about it, and that's a good thing because they've got a heads-up about it," Chief Johnson said.

    He first drove to Melvin Ellington's home, one of many homes in this Van Buren County community hit hard by last week's tornado.

    "Do you need any more tarps?" Chief Royce asked. "We have them."

    Chief Johnson is making sure homeowners like Ellington have what they need if a second round of severe weather strikes there Thursday. Ellington seemed OK.

    "I got the house tarped and stuff in the pod and tarping what I can," Chief Johnson said.

    The chief then drove to Stanley Posedy's home nearby.

    "We have some more weather moving in tomorrow. Are you secure enough for that?" the chief asked.

    "We've cleaned up what we can clean up and are batting down the hatches as best we can with everything else going on," Posedy said, but he has taken one extra step to ensure that he has a safe place to go this time. He'll be using a neighbor's storm shelter. "I timed myself. I can be there in like three minutes. That's the plan," Posedy said.

    Chief Royce was happy to hear that and took off for more check-ups.

    "We want them, you know, if they have any needs, we want to take care of their needs," Chief Johnson said.

    The chief also said the area has its tornado siren back up and running. He said last week's tornado knocked it down.

    While the homeowners were OK at the homes we stopped at Wednesday, the chief says his department did give out some tarps to other families in need. He also said his department is delivering food to clean-up workers.

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