Jefferson County community begins cleanup process after storm

Local News

PINE BLUFF, Ark – A Jefferson County Gym owner is fighting to save her business after high winds rip through the county Tuesday afternoon. 

“I just don’t know how I’m going to get through it,” said Goddess Fitness gym owner Alexis Parker. 

Parker walked through Goddess Fitness Wednesday, showing crews the broken ceiling and the water still on the floor from the storm. 

She says she opened the gym back in November after finding a passion in the gym. She says it was a dream since 2018 but took her years to get finances in order to make that dream a reality. 

“I saved everything I could,” said Parker. 

Tuesday that dream came crashing down in a matter of minutes. 

When we stepped in the foyer spot, it was covered in water, your foot got soaked,” said Goddess Fitness employee Shelby Schlensker. 

Wind gusts up to 100 mph ripped through Pine Bluff tearing down trees and causing Parker’s business to crumble.

“Along that wall if you were to look up, you could see the sky,” said Schlensker. 

Today Parker is fighting for her business but just a few months ago she was fighting a different fight. 

Parker was in the ICU with COVID-19 this summer for about 3 weeks. She says she had to close her business temporarily during that time. 

“Not being able to run my business, it put a financial burden on me,” said Parker. 

Parker was able to recover and opened the doors at the gym about 2 weeks ago. 

“And then this happens,” said Parker. 

She says emotions were high when she first stepped in to see the damage but says she will use the same determination used to fight covid-19 to get through this next hurdle. 

“I didn’t want to give up and this isn’t going to stop me either,” said Parker. 

Parker has quite a bit of clean-up to do in the days ahead but says she’s happy to have friends and family to support her through it. 

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