East End community wakes up to significant tornado damage

    10:36 PM, May 1, 2010   |    comments
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    "I got to see a little bit of [the storm] last night as I was tripping over it coming out to the shelter," said Godwin.

    Many homes are damaged; at least 4 people, in the East End fire district, are seriously injured. Many others, like Debra Godwin, found shelter in storm cellars.

    "I was a little worried because I'm a cancer patient and I'm worried about my granddaughter and another couple was just terrified but i got us all down there," Godwin said.

    Neighbor, Danny Delille, says, "As soon as I felt the wind blow through I just shut the closet door and held it and about the time the whole house just felt like it picked up off the ground and I thought the tornado had lifted us."

    Delille now has a 30-foot tree sitting on top of his house, but he says everyone is ok.

    Some of the other family members live further down the road which has been blocked off since the storm hit. Delille says a neighbor is severely injured and there are major power lines and trees uprooted in the area.

    As first responders work to help the community, they too are dealing with a loss.

    "I hate to see it: your equipment and building damaged. Fortunately, all this can be replaced and repaired," said Richard Blair, the East End fire chief.

    Four adults and a child, in the building when it collapsed, are all accounted for. On the gloomy Saturday morning, folks here are helping each other clean up and remembering that it's the loved-ones, they still have, who matter.

    "It could have been a lot worse. The tree could have killed us. We're lucky people," said Delille.

    The state National Guard was also in East End helping first responders. They say there was some minor looting in the area. Governor Mike Beebe deployed the troops to the hardest hit communities around the state to keep order and secure roads for drivers.

    Vounteers will be serving free food at the Cornerstone Fellowship Church in East End from 4-7pm. Woodson Lateral Rd. & Highway 167. (501) 681-7957

    Also, a local thrift store is helping storm victims who need clothing, shoes and other necessities.

    Call or visit the Lions Club Thrift Store at: 21121 Arch St. /AR 367, East End, AR
     (501) 888-3522 

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