SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA) – “It was just so devasting,” Ammie Olenick said.
Olenick says around 1 a.m. Monday she and her daughter were getting ready to go to bed.
“I heard this rumbling sound,” Olenick said. “It sounded like the roof was coming up lifting off my house.”
Severe storms moving into Siloam Springs with Olenick’s home – that sits right off Logan Cave Rd. – in its direct path. “My kitchen was soaking wet, it’s like a flood there,” Olenick said. “It was going into my dining room – into my living room.”
Once the rain stopped, Olenick says she and her daughter rushed outside to only hear the sound of her dogs crying in the dark. “They were stuck and under trees,” Olenick said. “They were tangled up – there was a house on top of their houses and everything was just destroyed.”
Living in this home since 1993, Olenick says she’s never seen destruction like this before. “There’s got to be somebody out there to help people like me,” she said.
From uprooted trees to downed power lines, crews will not be getting a break from clean up efforts anytime soon. “Moving into recovery efforts of this incident, the city has made a commitment to assist the residents in picking up the debris,” Fire Chief Jeremey Criner said.
Criner says he believes it could take a couple of weeks to a month before the city is completely cleaned up. “We’re asking residents if they can safely move that debris towards the curb and the city will be by to remove it,” Criner said.
Olenick thanks firefighters – like Criner – who are out near her home, cutting down trees that were blocking the entrance to the main road. “Those firemen, bless their hearts,” she said. “They maybe got a couple of hours of sleep because they’ve been up 24 hours a day trying to get us out of here.”