US Senator John Boozman's Weekly Column: Together, We Will Recover

Arkansans are unfortunately all too familiar with the impact of Mother Nature and what it takes to rebuild after natural disasters. Now we face that undertaking again after a record-setting tornado system tore through Northeast Arkansas, claiming two lives and damaging property. The images are devastating, but individuals, business owners and community leaders are demonstrating the resiliency and determination that has come to define our citizens in the aftermath of tragic events.


Arkansans answered the call to help on December 10, moments after the storm system began to inflict its toll. Nursing home staff shielded residents from the tornado that battered Monette Manor and tore the roof off of the building. A man in Trumann heard the cries of his neighbors and rescued them from the rubble their home had been reduced to.

These are just a few of the heroic acts that saved lives.


I applaud these brave and compassionate caregivers and selfless heroes. They answered the call to serve and help family, friends and even strangers without hesitation. There’s no greater testament to the human spirit than that.


Picking up the pieces and rebuilding may seem like a monumental task, but we know it can be done. It’s understandably hard to see the places we hold near and dear to us in the condition currently experienced by Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff Counties.


While recovery can be a long and grueling process, it also serves to bring out the best in us. Community members unite around the common goal of supporting those in need. Assistance from neighbors, friends and volunteers, and even just positive encouragement that comes from far and wide, give hope to families and business owners struggling with loss and displacement. 


I am grateful for first responders in these communities for their swift action as well as the individuals at the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) who train to handle situations like this so that they are prepared and ready to meet the needs of residents in all corners of the state.


I have been in close contact with state and local leaders and have maintained an open line of communication with ADEM officials. My staff and I will continue to support the needs of the state however possible. The recovery process is already underway as Governor Hutchinson issued a state of emergency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground assessing the damage.


As crews remove debris, restore power and begin to clean up from this disaster, we can be proud of the willingness of Natural State residents to lend a helping hand to our neighbors and communities facing a long road to recovery. 


Arkansans have big hearts and have always been generous in times of need. I offer my gratitude for the comfort and the light they bring to individuals experiencing some of the darkest days in their lives. Together, we will recover.

12-17-21 5:07 p.m. KAWX.ORG