Van Buren Roofer Responds to Backlash Following Controversial Facebook Post

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VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA) — Recovery is ongoing for those living in a Van Buren neighborhood hit by a tornado late Friday night. 

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down along Sandstone Drive.

Now a Facebook post is sparking controversy after a roofer discussed making money off the devastation.

“I think it was honestly pretty rude,” Savannah Clayton, a Fort Smith woman who was offended by the post said.

Early Saturday morning a post by Frankie Snell, owner of Snell Roofing, surfaced on Facebook.

It reads, “Money maker came through Van Buren last night.”

To which someone commented “Good news?” and Snell replied “Yea. Tornado hit last night…in good area.”

“It was pretty offensive about what he said, and all honesty I wouldn’t want to have business with someone — because I know there was one woman who commented and he said some pretty awful things to her,” Clayton said.

“Yeah, I retaliated and I shouldn’t of,” Snell said.

In total, 130 homes were damaged and five homes were destroyed.  Snell says he didn’t realize the extent of the damage.

“I got down there and seen some of the houses, I feel for the people and I know what some of them are going through, and why they are so mad. But I didn’t see that stuff before I made that post. I just thought, heck, there’s a bunch of roof repairs, maybe some siding,” Snell said.

The Facebook post has since been taken down, but Snell says the backlash hasn’t stopped.

“About 300 death threats, and glad my parents are dead, and they hope my mother died a slow miserable death, and threatened my daughter.”

Others, hoping that now he realizes what he says online has consequences.

“Since he like made it public, and he made it on his Facebook page where he obviously associates himself with his own business. Like, I just don’t think it was a proper decision altogether,” Clayton said.

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