TRUMANN, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson toured recovery efforts as the Federal Emergency Management Agency worked to decide on a federal emergency declaration for the state.
But while Arkansas’s leaders discuss funding the community is already taking care of its own.
Hutchinson’s first stop on his tour was a massive warehouse that was full of donations to tornado victims from Arkansas and states as far away as North Carolina and Florida. What makes it truly special is that it’s organized by those that live there.
It’s a combined effort. The people of Trumann are working like a well-oiled machine, taking care of neighbors who lost everything.
“We set up here at the Trumann Recreational Center a donation as well as a distribution center for all those items,” Jonathan Redman, Trumann police chief, said.
It’s the success of a small-town effort that stood out to Hutchinson, who was in town speaking with FEMA officials as they begin accessing the damage.
“It is just gratifying to see the incredible coordination of this effort,” Hutchinson said.
Arkansas will need to meet certain capstones to receive federal emergency funds. That includes $5 million in damage and a number of homes destroyed.
“This is going to be a long recovery process,” Redman said.
They can’t put a dollar amount on loss as they accept anything they can. Right now, they’re working to pull their neighbors back on their feet.
“There’s heartache today, there’s going to be more heartache a month from now,” Hutchinson said. “We’re still going to be rebuilding.”