VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA) — People in Van Buren now picking up the pieces after a tornado ripped through town late Friday night.
The National Weather Service has confirmed the storm that wreaked havoc in that River Valley town was in fact an EF2 tornado.
The tornado touched down in Van Buren just after 11 p.m. Friday night.
Most of the damage is in the area of Sandstone Drive.
One-hundred and thirty homes were damaged and five homes destroyed.
Crawford County Emergency Management started surveying the damage yesterday and will continue to survey the extent of it.
Many homeowners like Chris Christensen are just thankful to be alive.
“We knew to grab the kids and go to our bedroom closet; that’s the safest place in the house. We never made it so we huddled up underneath a bed and just held each other and waited for the storm to stop,” Christensen said.
Christensen said he’s also thankful for all the volunteers who have helped him clear debris.
This area of Sandstone was barricaded from traffic soon after the storm. Those barricades have been removed to let drivers and school buses get around this morning.
Police warn anyone caught trespassing will be arrested.
Police are trying to keep looters away from items scattered in yards and to protect homeowners.