Sunday, April 12, 2009

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....

On Thursday, April 9, 2009, an EF3 Tornado (with winds up to 165mph) swept through the small mountain community of Mena, Arkansas. I'm sure you have probably seen something about this on the news at some point in time in the past few days. I live in Mena Arkansas. And the pictures that have been presented to the public are only a mere inkling of the true devastation. It boggles the mind to see the destruction and to try and fathom the force that could cause it. My husband, Ed, and I rode out Hurricane Lili, which struck southern Louisiana in 2002. The devastation from that hurricane really doesn't even compare to what I have seen in the past few days.

My daughter Jenny, and two grand daughters had arrived only three hours before. We were all looking forward to a wonderful weekend visit. But, in a blink of an eye, our plans were changed. Fortunately Ed and I live out in the country and we were spared. My mother-in-law, who lives in town, was spared as well but the wind damage extended blocks past her house.

Ed is a Masonic Officer at the Lodge here in Mena. The last few days have been long and arduous for him. The majority of the Masonic members are well over the age of 65 and it fell upon the younger members to try and salvage what they could. Our son-in-law Adam, who arrived on Friday, immediately went to work helping sort through the rubble.

Ed and I have a lot to be thankful for ~ Our home, our lives, and for our families. And especially for Adam and Jenny, who gave us an enormous amount of moral (and physical) support through the first few days of this very trying time. Thank you! Ed and I are both so proud that you are our kids!!

Mena, population approx. 5500, has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn, hundreds and hundreds of people have been laid off (Ed being one of them). And the recent storm damage will not be easy for many. But this is a strong community and we will work together to sort through the pieces and rebuild.

Most of the town has electricity again as well as phone service. But we are without any internet service at my house and I must go into town and use a Wi-Fi connection at a local coffee shop, so I will only be posting when I can.

Please keep those so severely affected in your thoughts and prayers.


Jenny said...

We love you!

Wanda said...


If there is anything we can do let us know. We will all be thinking of you and your town.

Doreen said...

Jeanne..this is just horrific! I'm so sorry for everyone's loss and very thankful your home and family were spared.

Many blessings,

adrienne said...

Hi Jeanne,

I'm a Dabbled reader and I just saw her announcement about your tornado.

Our community got hit by an F3 tornado in 2005. My heart goes out to your community.

As we got over the initial shock, it emerged that lots of people were having insurance problems. Then some people labeling themselves as independent adjusters came through to hold public meetings that were just sales pitches for expensive services.

The best source of insurance information your community can get right now is your from your state's Department of Insurance.

If you can set up a public meeting with Arkansas Insurance Department representatives ( a large venue like the Masonic Lodge or a public library, it will serve many people in your community well.

From someone who appreciated the kindness of strangers after our own disaster, thank you to you and your family for pitching in. The help we received still humbles and awes me.

AwtemNymf said...

OMGawsh- I'm glad that you and your loved ones are okay?! I can't grasp how that must feel- or what it's like to lose your home and items to such a disaster?
Let me know if you need anything- clothing, food, or blankets and I can rally up some for you or people you know!
Hugs you tight!!! Glad your okay my friend!!