PIKE COUNTY, Ark. – A long clean-up process is ahead in Kirby after a confirmed EF-2 tornado damaged about two dozen homes and toppled numerous trees and power lines Thursday.
The sound of chainsaws and heavy equipment overwhelmed the soundscape Friday morning on the main stretch of Highway 70 in Kirby, but there’s still lots of work to do on quiet Ebenezer Road.
Paul Lawson lived in this trailer until Thursday night when it almost flipped over. He woke up to his headboard hitting his head. He heard the rumbling under his feet, and his family yelling.
“It was kind of scary,” Lawson admitted. “From the dining room area to the living room area, the trailer house just buckled.”
Lawson’s trailer lifted off the ground while he, his wife, and his daughter-in-law’s mother were inside it. Three of them went to the hospital, and because of falling furniture, his wife needed eight staples in her head.
No deaths have been reported by authorities. Lawson’s family is one of the few who went to a hospital for minor injuries.
Lawson’s home is not the only one made unlivable on Ebenezer Road. His son, Tanner Godwin, was next door when a branch fell on his bedroom. It was a tree though that fell straight through Godwin’s future home.
Tanner had hoped to move into the trailer, but a months-long delay in utility connection was his family’s deliverance.
“It’s a good thing everything played out the way it did or else we would have been in the trailer when the tree fell on it,” Tanner stated.
“And then our two boys. Their rooms are on this side (forced up in the air by the weight of the tree), so it’s hard to kind of look at,” Shyann Godwin, Tanner’s wife, added.
Between Lawson and the Godwins, four homes were impacted. They are all in the same family and for now, are living in the least-damaged home together as the community starts to clean up.
“Already like people volunteering to help move and offering tractors and chainsaws and anything they can do to help,” Shyann said.
“We really appreciate every bit of help that we can get,” Tanner said.
Even with old and new homes crushed, their minds are on the irreplaceable and won’t let the replaceable crush their spirits.
“We were blessed. I mean as you can tell how much damage this has done,” Lawson said.
The First Baptist Church on Highway 70 in Kirby welcomed any hungry person to eat with them Friday night.