Homeowner rebuilding home destroyed​ by tornadoes

Local News

ROGERS, Ark (KNWA)  — Clean up efforts continue in Rogers. Volunteers helped local residents impacted from last month’s devasting tornadoes.

” It was a big crash, and there were no lights so I knew something had happened and there was water coming in. We got out of there as soon as we could,​” said John Wildenvorg. The place he called home for more than 20 years was gone.

It’s been over a month since two tornadoes ripped through Benton county. 

“I had 10 trees come down, the house was crushed the cars were crushed,” said Wildenvorg.

Incident management with Arkansas Southern Baptist Disaster Relief John Pearce said “there is still a lot of cleaning up to be done. Some of the property owners will be out of their houses for several months. The street department in Rogers is still picking up debris. There is still a lot left.”​

Disaster relief crews have assisted in more than 121 chainsaw jobs, helping homeowners cut down large trees and removed debris from their property.​

“All of the volunteers who have been helping have been blessed with so much and we just want to spend our time helping the community,” said Pearce.

Wildenvorg started the re-construction phase of his home but said it will be months before its ready. Until then he will stay with his son. “They are going to be demolishing the rest of the house, taking off the sub-floors, then there will be new floors, and then electricians will come in.​”

Despite all of the devastation, Wildenvorg says he is in good spirits because his family made it out safely and his most prized possession went untouched. 

“The trees went down all around it, the flag was still flying, not a  dent on it, not a dent on it,”said Wildenvorg.

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