9 April 2009
Stories and Photos By Kathy Buntin
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The devastation in and around Mena is just unbelievable! These pictures just don't show the half of it! So many people here have lost their homes, and the miracle is that most of us escaped without a scratch -- even with all the windows shattering and the roofs caving in! Hundreds of volunteers rushed out to begin cleaning up & helping stricken victims either pack what's left or take trees off of their homes. Keep us in your prayers!
Country Roads around Mena
Mena Livestock Page
Places to Eat
The Car Show
Mena Start Page
Make no mistake about it.. Mena is still the perfect little wide spot in the road to stop at on your way to Texarkana from Fort Smith, or from Texarkana to Fort Smith. The best reason to stop is for a bite to eat or spend the night. Click HERE to discover the best places to eat and the best places of rest.
Mena is the county seat of Polk County, and just a few miles east from the Oklahoma border. There are only 6,000 residents in town, but business is thriving and pushing the residents back out of sight. There are 5 stoplights on the main drag and Mena did have a Wal*Mart SuperCenter. It was hit rather badly in the tire and lube section and the front doors blew out. It won't be back in action for a while.
After the tornado on the west edge of town I got out to drive around and take pictures. You wouldn't believe it's Mena anymore & You don't even know what street is what over there. From 375 East towards Potter. One family that I know well were renting a place that was totally destroyed. Her and her husband were in the house when it happened and there was glass shards flying everywhere! Another family was not hit too bad, just a tree crashing on the roof. Then another family had trees on the roof and all we had to do there was board up 1 window. There were other windows broken -- but she had dual pane glass.
One family that had just got settled in to their brand new house were there when the tornado blew out all their windows. Trees were twisted and yanked out of the ground everywhere. They had cracks in the walls & it looks like the roof lifted up, then came back down. Now there are 1 to 2 inch gaps between the ceiling & walls. Half of the roof is gone with the rafters showing.
Their 5th Wheel had a tree on it. Kenny was out cutting the tree off it when we came by, but the rig was completely destroyed. The Elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were staying there.
|Another friend had gone to the
Masonic Lodge for safety. It was almost completely destroyed.
When Judy came back home the roof was gone along with half the
house. It was a total loss!
The Frank family has a huge tree on their roof and the tornado lifted the house off the foundation & twisted it.
The Emerson Plant has a lot of damage. They brought in 2 transformers on Saturday. It is such a MESS!
You look at what's left here and realize more firmly than ever that it's a miracle there were only 3 deaths!