High winds tear through Monette

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
High winds demolished the Monette First Baptist Church sign.

Strong northeast winds blew though Monette Wednesday afternoon, July 23, leaving damaged trees and roofs and a trail of debris in its path.

Area volunteers quickly came to the aid of Monette residents by helping clear roadways and yards plus attach tarps to damaged roofs.

Many volunteers began work shortly after the storm hit about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and worked into the night, while others assembled for service on Thursday and Friday.

Shawn Doss and the Hope Mission group from Alabama were on a mission trip in Manila when the storm hit.

"It is amazing how many people turned out to help, right after the storm," said Mayor Chub Qualls. "Our city employees were on the job too, helping carry off debris as it was cleared and using the chipper on limbs and brush. There is still a lot of work to do to get it all cleaned up. Having extra volunteers was such a great help during our time of need."

Robert Chambers, of Monette, served as site coordinator for the Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief team and aided in organizing work groups to begin with the worst hit residences first and work other areas as time allowed.

Large groups of volunteers arriving on Thursday included Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro; Manila First Baptist Church; Monette Baptist Church youth group; Leachville Baptist Church; Mississippi County Disaster Relief from Blytheville; and a group of 16 young people from Hope Mission Trips in Alabama, who were staying in Manila. Lunch for workers was provided by Monette First Baptist Church.

Marsha and Robert Chambers with Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief help assess the damage.

"The whole community rallied to help those who had major damage to their homes and yards," Chambers said. "They worked for two days and completed 20 major sites and about 50 lighter jobs. By Friday at 5 p.m. about 90 percent of the town work was completed. People came as strangers to help and left as family."

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