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Couple in Walnut Valley encounters difficulties as they attempt to recover after the disaster in March



Little Rock, Arkansas – People who were most severely affected still have many questions about rebuilding or starting over just three months after an EF3 tornado devastated significant portions of the state.

The home of Jenny and John Bishop was among many that were destroyed in Walnut Valley.

Though they intend to rebuild, they claimed that the process has not been simple and that there is still a great deal of uncertainty.

“We purchased this house last July and just barely had it for nine months,” Jenny Bishop said.

When the tornado on March 31 destroyed their house and scores of others nearby, Jenny and John Bishop were comparatively new residents in the area.

They were initially shocked to see what was left of their house after the hurricane.

“It was pretty overwhelming. And then of course, because it was dark, we couldn’t see a lot. But we knew it was done,” Bishop said.

They were left with just the foundation after volunteers destroyed the few portions that were still intact.
After the tornado, they claimed, the neighborhood isn’t the same. The Bishops particularly miss the trees, among other things.

“We had a good sound barrier here with trees,” Bishop said.

Even though the highway is now louder, they are still trying to get used to it and want to rebuild, but Jenny said it hasn’t been a simple process.

“It’s a little stressful, because it’s just a lot of paperwork, a lot of unanswered questions, because we haven’t been through anything like this,” she explained.

They are hoping to receive financing from the Small Business Administration for disaster relief so they can rebuild.

“We’re still holding out hope that we’re going to get an answer this week on whether we will get that disaster relief loan,” she said.

It hasn’t been an easy task, but Jenny and the other members of the local HOA have been working to remove any remaining debris.

Capi Peck, the Ward 4 Director for Little Rock, has been supporting Walnut Valley at this time.

“We’ve been able to make a lot of progress in the last couple of weeks. But it’s an ongoing process. And it will be I think, for another month at least,” Peck described.

She advised anyone in her ward who required assistance following the storm to get in touch with her immediately so she could put them in touch with the appropriate person.

“It is our job to help our constituents connect with them and get answers,” she added.

The Walnut Valley community park will be cleaned up this weekend by the Bishops, their neighbors, and a few nearby churches.

They are still in need of volunteers to help out on Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.

You can offer assistance by calling (501) 765-7707.

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