Friday, April 10, 2009


Tonight at around 7:30 the tornado sirens sounded here in Mena. Gina and I went to the safe place in our house, the downstairs hallway. About that time our electricity went out. The storm passed without damage here at the house. We were thankful that we were spared.

After the storm passed and the stars came out, I decided to drive into town to see if anyone had electricity. When I got to downtown, I started to see storm damage and saw that the authorities were not letting people proceed to the north side of Mena.

I drove to my parents house to see if they were OK, and they were fine with no damage to their house or property. I drove on to the church but saw no damage their. I thought that the storm may not have been to bad, but by the time I returned home, the phone was ringing off the hook with reports of severe damage.

The first news reports stated that the Polk County Sheriff's Department reports one person was killed after a tornado swept through the town Thursday night.

Severe storms moving through the area shortly after eight o'clock tonight spawned the twister.

As damage assessment began, KARK was told a 25 block area that included the Polk County Courthouse and Mena City Hall took a direct hit from the tornado. There are 12 minor injuries in the city.

Governor Beebe has sent 30 National Guard members to the city for help.

The Arkansas State Police tells KARK 4 there is extensive damage to homes and businesses throughout the city of Mena.

We received a call from a friend telling us that our good friend Deanna had a lot of damage to her house, and her car was totaled. Just before the storm hit, Deanna was on the phone with Gina telling her that she was in the closet and she was scared. We have not been able to talk to her since. We don't know what we will find when we are able to get into the the area. Just a couple of blocks from her house, there were 20 or more people in the Masonic Lodge when it collapsed. There is one known fatality on the street where Deanna lives.

We have had friends staying with us this evening, because they were not able to get home. The National Guard is in town and not letting anyone into the severely damaged area. There was damage at RMCC, the community college, and at Wal-Mart. There is damage at U.S. Motors where Gina operates the Credit Union. We have not been able to find out the extent of the damage.

I need to go to sleep, but probably sleep won't come. I don't know what tomorrow will bring.


  1. Oh Richie, how terrible. I just read about the tornado in the news and rushed over to your blog. Thank God you and your home are OK.
    My sympathy to Mena.

  2. I was also worried when I heard about Mena on the news, I came here and left a long comment and I guess it must have gotten lost...(it was a little early and I may have messed up, smiles)

    I'm so glad to see you have posted something which means you are ok. I'll be saying prayers all day for the folks not so lucky.

  3. I'm so glad you, mom, grandma and grandpa are alright. I have Luiz and Robbie and had them start praying for Mena. I'm planning on calling and talking to a few more people today to ask for thier prayers.

  4. I'm really sorry to hear about the tornado, but I'm glad to hear you're allright! I wish you (and your friends) all the strength you need in the coming period.

  5. So glad to hear you are ok. {{HUGS}} and prayers to you and the people of Mena.

  6. I am happy to hear that you people are ok. And I hope that it is not to bad for the other people in Mena.

    A tornado must be a terrible experience. I never went through this, we don't have tornados here. Sometimes we have very strong storms.

  7. I heard about the tornado in Mena this morning when a friend called to ask me if my relatives were okay that lived there. I'm praying everything turns out as well as it possibly can. Sending lots of prayers.

  8. Mena Arkansas where a tornado.
    At least three people were killed and two dozen injured on Thursday night when a tornado smashed through Mena, Arkansas.

    "About half the injuries were reported as serious," said Tommy Jackson, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management at North Little Rock, Arkansas.
    See the live program.

  9. Thank you for the update, Richard. I've had you, your family and the city of Mena in my prayers. I awoke to watch the early news reports(4 - 6 a.m.) before drifting back to sleep. It was too dark to see much of anything except the extensive damage to the Masonic Hall and some of the residential area where the TV folks were located. I haven't looked at the TV since getting up.

    I am glad you are safe. You will continue in my prayers.

  10. I've been out and about today, just signed on a few minutes ago, and after checking e-mail, went to the Drudge Report. When my eye fell on the words "Tornado" and "Mena, Arkansas" in the same headline, I came directly here to check on you and your family.

    Thank God you all are safe. Our prayers will be with your town as you slowly return to normal.

  11. I will keep you, your family, friends, and Mena in my prayers in the coming days! Blessings to you~Janine

  12. Oh my, this is truly scary and I thank God you and your family are all fine. I am sorry to hear about the others that were affected by this storm, that makes me very sad. I will definitely have them in my prayers!