LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. (KNOE) - Many people in Chicot County, Arkansas have been without power since early Saturday morning. Heavy rains and strong winds left fallen trees and downed power lines, leaving many Lake Village residents in the dark.
I’ve never seen my hometown look like this before,” Joelle Stuart says. “Once you see it, it looks like a war zone. I mean, it’s terrible.”
Stuart remembers when the severe weather hit. “I woke up, and I heard it. It just sounded like a train roaring, and I was like ‘Oh my goodness!” I started praying. I started praying so hard.”
The weather leveling some houses, tearing off roofs, and even flipping over some mobile homes along the way. To make things worse, Stuart says they didn’t think they’d have electricity again for some days because of all the downed electric wires and poles.
“We were originally told it could be a week or longer,” Stuart says.
She says the whole experience was nerve-wrecking, but also serves as a reminder of the Lake Village community that always looks out for each other. “It’s kind of like time stops, and you’re just waiting for life to resume to normal again. You know a lot of people got out, started helping neighbors and things. We were all checking on each other.”
That spirit was on full display as employees of a local bank pulled out the grill and began serving more than 300 hamburgers and 500 hot dogs to everyone in the community until they ran out.
“It was rewarding to know that there were people that needed food, and we were able to get together and make it happen,” says Tommy Jarrett, community president of Simmons Bank.
Jarrett says they were able to get the food from a local store, and they also had a few helping hands in the process.
He says the food brought out some good laughs during a difficult time. “It was fun. We visited. A lot of our customers and friends came through, and we just made an afternoon out of it.”