NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the water trickles down Sonora Drive and drips into homes, it feels like for some people time stopped on March 31.
For weeks, it’s been one task for Lindsay Holloch only to be replaced by another.
“It’s hard to see the end. Like, I didn’t even know it’s a month. It feels like it just happened,” Holloch said.
From staying with family hours away to getting a hotel, rental car, and her children back in school. Now she’s looking for a six-month lease apartment for her disabled parents as a structural engineer tells her family what to do next.
“Things look better, but they don’t, and coming back every day to take care of the animals and stuff or just check on things, it’s just this heavy pressure,” Holloch said.
Almost as stray as her cats, she hasn’t returned to work. Further down Sonora Drive, Malachi Bailey was relocated by his job after a tornado blew right over his McDonald’s at the corner of McArthur Dr. & Military Dr. with him inside.
“It feels like your ears are just like burning or just ringing, and it’s something that I’ve just not seen or experienced before,” Bailey admitted.
Because of a gas leak, he rushed straight home.
“I was just hopping over stuff, power lines. I had to see if my family was alright,” Bailey remembered
Walking through his neighborhood 27 days later, he was unsure when it will recover. For Holloch some things never will. Her neighbor was the only person recorded in central Arkansas killed by the storm.
“I lost somebody I’ve known my whole life, and we couldn’t help him, so that’s really hard to come back and see, and you can’t avoid it,” Holloch said.
Down the road, Burns Park is still closed. It’s a place Holloch and her children played at all their lives, but its landscape has been permanently changed much like Sonora Drive.
Some homeowners have stuck it out in the damaged homes for almost the full four weeks since March 31. Others don’t plan to come back or are awaiting repairs. Other houses need debris removed inside or outside, even demolition.
A few homeowners said their roof replacements will start Monday. It’s the first thing that needs to happen before work can be done underneath them.
“It’s going to be a long time before it’s ever right again or feels right. I don’t know if it ever will be,” Holloch said.
But for Holloch and many others, they will keep returning, leaning on each other to rebuild, no matter how many months it takes.