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The East End community comes together to clean up tornado damage

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Saline County, Arkansas – Thousands of residents across the state of Arkansas witnessed terrible poor weather on Friday evening.

One of the locations affected by the tornado that ripped through the region was Saline County.

The majority of the following day was devoted to cleaning up and sorting through the debris by the residents of the East End neighborhood.

“It’s the most devastating thing I’ve seen around here in a long time,” Larry Cossey, whose home was affected, said.

The storm’s ferocity was plain to witness close to Sardis Road.

One house had its roof blown off, and a significant track of debris was left in its wake.

“I was listening to the weather in the fraidy hole [and] had no idea it was near this bad until we come out,” Cossey said.

He added that his storm shelter is a few miles away from his property and that the scattered metal and tree limbs were difficult for him to process when he got home.

“I automatically assumed it was my house, laying in the middle of the road and in the front yard,” Cossey described.

He added that the storm moved in so swiftly that he and his wife had to leave their pets behind on the way to the shelter.

Utility workers and residents of East End have been putting up a lot of effort into gathering up the debris that was flung in all directions.

“You can see the 2017 Nissan held up pretty good for that big of a tree,” Cossey said.

Remnants of Cossey’s neighborhood’s shed are spread out on a field across the street, and other homes in the area were also heavily damaged.

After a chaotic night, Cossey explained how his community really stepped up.

“Them neighbors were out in their t-shirts and their shorts [and] barely had shoes on,” Cossey said.

Now, as he works to repair the harm and move on, he can’t help but reflect on how much worse things could have been.

“We’re blessed. I’m telling you very blessed,” Cossey said.

 

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