Mother nature stikes again in Van Buren

Industry Observer

Mother nature struck again in Van Buren on Fathers Day Sunday night June 15th... I was sitting at home alone watching the telie and I heard it start to rumble very loud and deep in the near distance. I don't normally watch the news so I was not aware we were due to have storms. In fact, it had been a beautiful day. I had just got through mowing my yard a few hours earlier.

About 11:10 PM the storm came down like a raging bull. The winds were extreme and the lightning was like I have never seen before. I have been through a few storms and even witnessed a tornado from a few miles away but I was very uneasy and scared about this storm.

We had just started to finally recover from the storms we had in April that caused Van Buren and many other cities to be deemed disaster zones. I wrote about those storms in my blogs:


FEMA offers assistance to Crawford & Sebastian County residents

A cry for help ......

Scary night in Fort Smith and Van Buren... continued

Scary night in Fort Smith and Van Buren


The electricity kept going on and off every few minutes and it became quite eerie. Just when I decided I better tune into the news the power went off and stayed off. It was beyond black in my house except for the lightning flashs. I stayed out on my porch for some stupid reason... I actually felt safer watching the sky and watching what was happening. I could hear the trees moaning and creaking and the wind was just crazy. I really thought a tornado was going to rip through town or a tree was going to break and fall on my house.

I heard a loud creaking and then a snap and a crash... my neighbors tree was down in the street. Then a few minutes later the same thing happened across the street, and just caddy corner to me a tree fell on someones roof.

I was on and off the phone with my daughter who was at work and my grandkids and their other grandmother who were all in Fort Smith. They still had power so they were keeping me up to date on the storm.

I really thought the tornado sirens would go off at any moment but they never did. The storm lasted for about 45 minutes to an hour and then it was over. A few times I almost hid in the closet but it was so dark and the thought of a tree falling on the house was too scary. I felt I was safer where I could at least see what was happening. That was probably stupid now that I think about it!!!

I finally tried to go to sleep hoping the power would come on before morning. It was hard to sleep though because there was no electricy to power the fans and it was hot and humid and the sounds of police cars and fire trucks and the street dept was out with chain saws trying to clear the roads from all the trees that had been blown down.

I think I finally fell asleep about 3:30 in the moring. I woke to the sound of chain saws outside very early. It was 7am. I looked outside and it looked like a war zone. Tree limbs littered the yards and the streets.

After I got out and cleared my front yard of the debris, I decided to go see if I could get a cup of coffee somewhere. I had no power so I wasnt sure how much of the city had been hit. The street were lined with people and police cars and utility trucks and trucks with beds and trailers full of tree limbs.

I snapped a few picture with my cell phone but I didnt have much battery left amd no electric to charge it up. These were just a few of the sites I saw driving around my neighborhood.

Downed trees and power lines

Uprooted tree and more down power lines

Neighbors tree damage

Tree on truck

These are were just a few of the pics I took trying to save my battery.

Long story short here...... The storms came through on Sunday night and power went out about 11:20pm that night. Fast forward until Wendesday afternoon about 3:00 and we finally got the power back on. Everything had to be thrown out of the fridge and freezer.... I had just went grocery shopping over the weekend. We had to eat out for 2 and a half days and we finally rented a hotel roon on Tuesday night when we realized we wou;ld be without power another night. I had bought some flashlights and a little lantern and a battery powed fan for the second night but Tuiesday night I had my grandkids back at my house and it just wasnt working to not have power or food or cool air. All toll this storm cost my at least $500 out of pocket that I didnt have to spend.

Many homes and vehicles were damaged by downed trees falling on them.

Today is Thrusday and they have finally started to get the majority of the tree damage cleared out, but there are still a number of homes with a ton of tree debris to be cleared out. It will take awhile to recover from this latest storm.

Say a little prayer for all of us!


Posted by

Susan Davis


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Arkansas Crawford County Van Buren
Christian Mortgage and Real Estate Professionals
Family Ties
Arkansas Realtors & Associates
Realtors in Need of Help
storm damage
van buren

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Susan- This is why everyone needs to have 72 hour survival kits. Living here in South Florida we are used to these storms and power outages. We have a generator. We have water storage, batteries, flashlights and all kinds of emergency things. We have  a large barbeque powered by propane to eat and heat water for baths. We have special cast iron skillets to cook on and a crock pot and a rice maker which we can run off of our generator. It does get hot though! We have a pool so it is a great time to go swimming during those days. Go get your supplies so you will be prepared next time. Tuna and peanut butter are great to store.

Jun 19, 2008 06:18 PM #1
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Sounds like you had a bad time.  The pictures tell the story vividly. 

Jun 20, 2008 12:48 AM #2


Jun 20, 2008 07:32 PM #3
Chris Fisher
Your Virtual Assistant - Concord, CA

That is very scary Susan.  I am so glad you are okay!

Jun 23, 2008 09:07 AM #4


I have really enjoyed reading your blog.   I am relatively new to AR and have noticed you have received a lot of points and have achieved a remarkable high ranking. Congratulations!   May I ask if you have had success in turning your high ranking into business?   I am curious if it has been a profitable venture personally as well as financially.   Thanks for sharing and best of luck in your business.

Jul 09, 2008 05:18 AM #5

Hi Susan,

I too went through the horrible devistation of the 1996 Van Buren, AR Tornado.  I was living on Fir Dr. at the time, having since moved to Tulsa, OK. We were on the back end of the tornado having suffered only 55,000.00 worth of damage to our home.  When I walked outside I looked up the road and saw slabs where homes used to be.  One of the children killed in Ft. Smith was my son-in-laws cousin's child.

My son was on his way back from visiting his GF in Alma, AR.  I was frantic as I didn't know where he was at the time the tornado hit. My daughter and I took off in the Pathfinder to find him when all was over. Luckily he decided to stop at his friend's home on Rudy Rd, an area that wasn't damaged.  He was just pulling out of the driveway when I saw him. He didn't know about the tornado as he had been listening to his CD Player.

Long story short, after I told him, he freaked and I followed him towards home.  With so many trees down on Vista Hills Rd., we kept having to find another way to get home.  My son decided to jump out of his car and run to the house. Not a smart move, only I couldn't stop him.  My daughter and I turned around and found another way home, or so I thought. As it had started raining again, no street signs or lights, we got lost in our own neighborhood. I turned on one street and a man was outside looking at his slab where his home used to be.  He didn't know if I was a gawker or what, so he asked if he could help us.  I told him I was trying to get home and had gotten lost. I told him I lived on 905 Fir Dr.  He gave me directions, and I finally found my home.  My daughter and I made it into the drive way and I discovered I had 4 flat tires.

If you go by the house you can see some of the evidence of the tornado.  The basketball goal in which my ex-husband had poured concrete into the hole.  It was turned completely turned around with the top part of it gone.  The new owners, kept it that way and hung a lantern on it.

We had opened our pool that day, and the debri in it was astounding. We had part of someone's roof in it, all of our pool accessories were tangled up in trees 2 doors down.

Most of our windows were blown out, only the one window in the entry hall which I had my curio cabinet with all of my crystal in it was spared. Apparently after the window broke from the pressure, it blew in and then out again just before it touched the curio cabinet.

Fema and the Red Cross were Fantastic!  We refused to eat anything the Red Cross brought by due to the fact that we still had a working kitchen, unlike most of our neighbors.

Sorry I was so long winded, just needed to let it out, and happened across your Blog.

It took approx. 6 months, but our builder did a fine job of repairing our home!

Good Luck with your Real Estate!


Aug 05, 2008 09:32 AM #6
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

Man, tough place to live.... hail, crashing trees, floods, it's a regular Egypt before the exodus.... I hope you are well. how are you?

May 03, 2009 04:27 AM #7
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Susan Davis

Excellence Advocate
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information