CHERRY VALLEY, Ark. — A Cross County family was cleaning up Monday after a possible tornado roared through Saturday.
Old yearbooks were thrown to the ground like leaves, steps away from precious keepsakes like family photos that littered their backyard.
“Keith and Sandy lived here for years with their two kids, a boy and a girl. They built this place up nice, but it’s gone now,” friend Reggie Jones said.
Jones is one of Keith Thomas’ former employees who came to help out.
Thomas says he and his wife weren’t home when he storm hit around 5 p.m.
“My son called me. We just loaded up and came to see about it. We’ve just been cleaning up and putting things away,” he said.
Thomas said he and his wife had lived in their home since 1978.
He even laid some of the bricks himself. The same bricks now litter his backyard in large slabs.
“That’s their pile of pictures on the wall. They lost a lot of stuff that was valuable,” Jones said.
Thomas and his wife were at their lake house three hours away when the storm hit.
It ripped off walls, insulation and most of the roof.
The chunks ended up in a massive debris field outside of the home that stretched for nearly a half mile.
“There are parts of the house over there on that side. Something had to carry it over there,” Jones said. “I think it was a tornado.”
But the National Weather Service said the damage was caused by straight-line winds.
Officials said they planned to take a closer look, but, as of now, it was not a tornado.
Thomas disagreed but said it didn’t matter because the home is still damaged beyond repair.
“We’re doing great. We weren’t in it, so it’s all good,” he said.
He said things are replaceable, but lives are not.
The home owners are now waiting for insurance adjusters to come visit.
After that, they plan on demolishing the home.