The East End community saw a tornado with updraft winds of 111-135MPH Friday night. Now they come together to clean up the mess.
SALINE COUNTY, Ark. – On Friday evening, thousands of people across the state of Arkansas experienced severe weather.
Saline County was one of the affected areas, as a tornado ripped through the area.
Residents of the East End community had to spend most of the next day sorting debris and cleaning up.
“It’s the most devastating thing I’ve seen here in a long time,” said Larry Cossey, whose home was hit.
Near Sardis Road, it was easy to see the intensity of the storm.
The roof was blown off a house and a large trail of debris was left behind.
“I was listening to the weather in the scary hole [and] I had no idea it was this bad until we got out,” Cossey said.
He explained that his storm shelter is a few miles from his property and when he got home the metal and tree branches scattered around were hard to digest.
“I automatically assumed it was my house, located in the middle of the road and in the front yard,” Cossey described.
He also said the storm approached so quickly that he was forced to leave his dogs behind when he and his wife headed for the shelter.
Utility crews and residents of the East End all worked very hard to pick up what was blown in all directions.
“You can see the 2017 Nissan held up pretty well for that big tree,” Cossey said.
The remains of the Cossey neighborhood shed are strewn across a field across the street, and other homes in the area were also heavily damaged.
After a chaotic night, Cossey opened up about how her community has really grown stronger.
“The neighbors were outside in t-shirts and shorts [and] barely had any shoes,” Cossey said.
Now, as he continues to work to clean up the mess and move forward, he can’t help but think things could have been much worse.
“We are blessed. I say to you very blessed,” Cossey said.