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Central Arkansas came together to recover from the tornado



North Little Rock, Arkansas – On Military Drive in North Little Rock, the damage looks like it couldn’t have been stopped. No one was there to clean up their broken, open homes, but utility crews are working hard.

Once there were 15,000 people without power in the city, there were only 5,000 by Sunday. It could take a full week to get power back on for everyone, though.

“You see it on the news. You see it on the TV. It’s just a completely different feeling when it’s your home,” Brent Long said.

Since he saw the tornado move right in front of him on Friday, Brent Long has been cleaning up his parents’ house on Osage Drive in the Indian Hills neighborhood.

“All around me. It tried to suck my car up,” Long described adding a tree fell just seconds away from where he once was.

Long lives in Conway, and he has seen people from all over central Arkansas and further away help out or say a prayer.

Both North Little Rock and Sherwood’s mayors said that if their towns are going to get back on their feet, it will be with the help of volunteers, donations, and outside and inside resources.

“When this tornado went through, it didn’t stop at the boundaries,” North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick stated.

“To kind of hold our hand and help us do this has been absolutely incredible,” Sherwood Mayor Mary Jo Heye-Townsell said to Mayor Hartwick.

Sherwood also looks like a toy box that was shaken and tipped over on Kiehl Avenue and the streets around it. Dan McInturff Jr. was in his room when trees fell and crushed half of his house. He couldn’t get better on his own at 85, but he didn’t have to.

“Everybody has just done a tremendous job of helping out. There’s a lot of wonderful people in the world, and a lot of them live in Sherwood thank goodness,” McInturff Jr. said.

And people can’t say thank you enough from Sherwood to North Little Rock and the rest of Arkansas.

“It’s just incredible the way people have come together these Church groups have come out. We can’t thank them enough,” Brent Long stated.

One of the few good things to come out of this disaster is seeing neighbors and communities come together to help each other. Officials hope that the number of volunteers won’t drop too much once the work week starts.

Dr. Gregory J. Pilewski, the superintendent of the North Little Rock School District, says that there will be no school on Monday. However, staff and bus drivers will be called in to get ready for the rest of the week.

Except for Amboy Elementary, each campus should be back to business as usual by Tuesday. The return of Sylvan Hills Elementary on Tuesday is still up in the air.

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