TYRONZA, Ark. – An EF-1 tornado snuck up on a small town in northeast Arkansas early Monday morning.
Its violent winds left some people hurt and much of the town in pieces.
The town’s only gas station was heavily damaged, along with some homes and a school.
In this town of less than 1,000 people, the tornado ripped gas pumps from asphalt and tossed a street sign into a schoolyard.
“Yeah, just leave it right there,” said homeonwer Mike Hood, as he used a chainsaw to attack a fallen tree that stabbed the back of his home. “Back window here, got to get it fixed.”
Hood says he huddled in the middle of his house with his wife and his granddaughter when the sound of the storm grew louder.
“Like a freight train coming through. Yeah,” he explained. “When that wind started, I thought the house was gone there for a minute.”
The storm’s path is carved out by damage down Main Street.
Ambulances, police cars and fire trucks lined the curbside for much of Monday morning.
“It’s a disaster for this town. This is a very good community. It’s a small community,” said Bob Cantrell, Poinsett County Judge.
He says several people were injured and taken to hospitals but all are expected to be okay.
For some — the journey back to normal begins with a sense of gratitude.
“Thank God, we’re good. We made it,” said Hood.
County Judge Cantrell tells us he has been in touch with the governor, who has offered his support.
The county judge says the people in Tyronza will come together, recover and clean up from this storm damage.