Clean-Up Efforts Begin In Fort Smith After Tornado Damage

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM)—Recovery efforts began Sunday (May 19) after a tornado rolled through Fort Smith.

At least 40 homes in Sebastian County have reported damage.

Resident Adam Speck said the aftermath came as a complete shock.

"I thought it would probably miss us just like most of them have. We were in going up to Northwest Arkansas, so we just said, 'Well we'll see what's going on when we get back,'" Speck said.

The sight was overwhelming for Speck and his wife. He, like many others, are still without power.

Speck says there were 31 trees surrounding his home and only four survived. A huge pine tree landed on his garage and, by some miracle, only one window was knocked out.

Road crews were out clearing away debris caused by the storms this morning (May 19).

For some, seeing the warnings on Saturday (May 18) caused concern and fear.

"I was just making sure my grandmother was okay because her house got hit by it. I'm just glad everybody is okay," resident Devon McDowell said.

Removing trees has been a long and rough process for homeowners.

"It's tiring and it's like whenever we take the trees down, it's taking down the house with it, and so it's just damaging the houses a lot more,"  Raylien Pelley said.

Speck said despite the damage he felt lucky because his family was safe.

"At least the main part of our house is intact. We've seen these go through and destroy people's houses and we still have a place to live once we get power back. There's a place for us to stay and continue our lives, it's just a lot of cleanup that has to go on between now and then," Speck said.

Clean-up could take several more days.


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