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Baxter County community mourns the loss of mother, grandmother killed in tornado



Baxter County, Arkansas – We are finding more about the individuals affected by the fatal tornadoes that struck Baxter County, Arkansas, on Sunday.

Following the deadly EF-3 tornado that struck the area, many people are attempting to put their lives back together.

“Just pray. Quit screaming and just pray,” said Donna Jones.

She recalls how her home was destroyed by a tornado.

“This was the living room. Right where those DVD players are at, that was the pantry we were sitting in,” explained Jones.

With the exception of her mother, Patti Sontag, her family was all listed. Jones claims that earlier in the morning, her mother attempted to warn her about the storms. Just as the tornado was about to pick up speed, she attempted to reach back out.

“I was trying to call my mom. I don’t know if she answered or not. I was screaming take shelter into the phone. The next thing I know a wind out of nowhere, it was like sucker punching you, ten-fold, knocked us down and my kids are screaming,” she said.

Jones claims that once the storm passed, the hunt for Sontag started.

She said, “A lot of neighbor friends came down and started searching for her. Fire personnel came. Then I talked to my husband a little after 8 a.m.
I guess. They said that they had found her inside the house. She was gone.”
Sontag loved to compete and was a member of the North Arkansas Kennel Club, according to friends.

“She has just been a big part of a lot of our lives in the kennel club and the dog world,” said Sherry Gibbany.

According to Gibbany, Sontag was highly renowned for her breeding and instruction methods.

“Everyone’s been very supportive to help her daughter, her granddaughters, her dogs. Everybody in the dog world. That’s just the dog world. They step up and they help each other. We’ll move on but she’ll always be in our thoughts and our memories,” said Gibbany.

“It’s a morning that we will never, ever, ever, forget but will still relive several times a day, every day since Sunday,” said Jones.


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