FEMA Going Door to Door Talking to Tornado Victims

By Katherina -Marie Yancy

(KATV) Garland County - FEMA Community Specialists are going door to door talking to victims from the April 25th tornadoes. Monday, teams were in Garland County where two residents died following the storm that damaged hundreds of homes.

Today marks two-weeks since the tornadoes touched down. The damage is extensive and FEMA is a welcome sign of help.

The landscape and lives are forever changed in Walnut Valley, just one are hit hard in Garland County.

Berna Smedley recalls, "It was obvious the storm was coming. The lights were flickering and the winds were really picking up."

Smedley says it felt like a giant was stomping closer as trees snapped, she felt the suction of the tornado, but it turned, sparing most of her home.

Smedley smiles, "Everything we lost is replaceable, we lost a ton of trees, but again grace of God we're alive and can talk about it"

FEMA teams are passing out flyers, encouraging victims to apply for assistance.

Dave Winterle is a FEMA Community Relations Specialist; he says "In Garland County there is approximately 300-homes that have had some sort of damage. It might be shingles off the roof or like you see here, it's gone."

So far, most residents ask saying they have home owners insurance, but some are under insured. Winterle adds, "And there may be some things their homeowners insurance doesn't cover that FEMA may cover."

Smedley is anxious to hear what FEMA teams have to say, "We all need to hear what's out there for us."

FEMA can't get to everyone personally, but a Disaster Recovery Center will open in Pearcy at Apostolic Faith Tabernacle starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Garland County Disaster Recovery Center

Apostolic Faith Tabernacle - Gym

3217 Airport Road

Pearcy, AR 71964


Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Sunday 1 - 6:30

*Hours are subject to change

Register by phone 1-800-621 FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585

To register by web, click on the link under the picture.

NEED: Have the following information available: A phone number you can be reached at, Social Security Number, Current Mailing Address, Address of the affected property, brief description of the damage, and insurance information including the policy number.