LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Amid the debris and destruction from the tornado on March 31 have come some miraculous stories of those who survived the storm, and Kim Bailey is one of them.
Bailey was at Reservoir Park in Little Rock that day, a place she had been to numerous times in the past that held deep memories.
“Over here were tennis courts. Back in this direction, there was a pavilion where people could have parties and events,” she recalled while touring the park.
What was once a beautiful park lush with trees looks more like a battleground now, though, with Bailey describing it as “unrecognizable.”
It was a warzone that Bailey found herself right in the middle of last Friday afternoon.
“I was in my car and my first thought was, ‘What do I do?’” she recalled.
Just as she had done since she was a kid, Bailey cut through Reservoir Park in Little Rock to get to her parents’ home on the other side. Seconds after she entered the park, the tornado hit.
“Up ahead I could see these big trees were being uprooted and just being tossed across the road,” Bailey said.
At that moment, Bailey made a split-second decision, one that may have very well saved her life.
“Even though it went against every instinct at that moment, every shred of logic that I had, I got out of the car,” she said. “I took about five or six steps across the road, and that was when the first tree hit my vehicle.”
Bailey knew she needed to get to safety, but the park she once knew so well was now a dangerous obstacle course.
“(I was) climbing over trees, climbing under trees, not knowing where to step, and not knowing where not to step,” she said. “It was difficult. It was hard.”
Eventually, Bailey found refuge in a metal building the twister left untouched.
“I tried to open the door but realized it was locked. That little overhang over the door was the only shelter that I had in that moment,” she explained.
It was there that Bailey stood for three hours until she was finally rescued, an act that answered her prayers.
“I know the Lord was directing their steps,” she said.
Bailey said she is thankful God told her to get out of the car. She said her survival story is something she will never take for granted.
“Just to be an eyewitness of a miracle, to be a recipient of that miracle, is humbling beyond what I can explain,” she said.
Bailey was not harmed during the ordeal but says her car is totaled. Her parents’ home did not suffer any damage from the storm.