With the recent historic flooding, Logan County has seen its share of damage, but with the confirmation of two tornadoes and flash flooding on June 23, more damage has been reported.
A damage survey in Logan County by the National Weather Service confirmed there were two EF-0 tornadoes early Sunday morning of June 23.
Emergency Management Coordinator Tobi Miller said that two Logan County homes owned by Frank Havens and John Smith were destroyed due to the tornadoes.
The tornadoes had a path length of 0.1 miles, a maximum path width of 25 yards and estimated peak winds of 80 mph. Tornado one was listed at 3.2 miles southeast of Paris with a start and end time of 2:38 a.m. The second tornado was listed as 4.5 miles southeast of Paris with a start time and end time of 5:49 a.m.
Gail Smith, whose house was destroyed in tornado two, said, "Around 5:15 a.m. we got alert on our phones for a tornado warning Logan County so I looked and it was in the Blue Mountain Area and we usually just blow it off, but within a few minutes we got another tornado alert, so I thought we better check it out. With the satellite out, I relied on Channel 5 online on my phone and it was saying the tail end would hit Corley Area."
The Green's said that about that time one of their grills went flying by and they decided they better get off the mountain.
"We loaded up in the car and as we were leaving, you can feel the vortex going around the car debris was flying everywhere; we could not see in front of us."
Gail said that by the time they managed to get to the end of their road, things had calmed down.
Gail said that by the time they managed to get to the end of their road, things had calmed down, and when they were headed back home they saw a tree through the middle of Frank Haven's home.
Gail said, "I started yelling we have to go back so we turned around and John jumped out of the car and yelled for Frank and his family and no one answered. We called 911 and they informed us they got out safely."
The Green's said when they arrived back home, they started noticing all the trees down in the yard, but they soon saw the damage was much more severe than downed trees.
"The roof of the deck is gone then I noticed the roof on half the house had been ripped off on the side that our bedroom and living room was. We rushed in and water was running down the walls of the bedroom and living room and bathroom ceilings. My heart just dropped and didn't know what to do," said Gail.
The Smith's future plans are to build and make sure it has a safe room.
Along with the storms, flash flooding was also a concern for the county.
Even though the county only received 4-6 inches of rain, it was enough to cause additional flooding in the already affected areas.
"There is a place that when it rains the river comes up and goes back into the farmland. Because of this, it did flood the chicken houses again, but the chicken houses were destroyed already."
Miller said the trailer houses at the end of Old Sandy Road have also flooded again from the recent rain.
"FEMA has met with all of the people with flooded homes. The estimated cost to fix the levees is 2.9 million. This is not a hard number because there is so much more than just to fix the levees."
Miller said that there are farms that have five feet of sand on the land from the levee breaking that has to be removed before planting can be done, along with ditches that were created from the water.
"At this time, I am unsure of the cost of crops that were destroyed in the flood waters, but there was a total of eleven homes flooded. Three homes were classified as major loss and eight destroyed," said Miller.
Miller said that there is still a couple of roads under water in the bottoms and that if we continue to receive rain, the flooding will continue until the levee is fixed.
"It won't be the whole entire bottoms, but it will be a majority of it."
Governor Asa Hutchinson asked lawmakers last Thursday to appropriate $10 million from a reserve fund for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to mend levees that were damaged by the flooding along the Arkansas River.
"We've got a lot of work ahead," Hutchinson said.
"We rely upon the levee system, but as we've known from the past, it's not being maintained at the level it needs to be maintained."
Hutchinson said in a recent press release that going forward his priorities are twofold; the state needs to learn from the levee system's problems and make sure the state is better prepared for the next flood "that we all know is sure to come."
Miller said that the Disaster Recovery Center is open to Logan County residents who were affected by the flooding. The office is located in Ft. Smith at Central Mall, Suite 605, upstairs near Dillard's.
"Even if you have already received assistance from FEMA, I encourage you to take advantage of this program and see if additional resources are available."
Miller said that Logan County also has a FloodPlain Ordinance which is a community program of preventive and corrective measures to reduce the risk of current and future flooding, resulting in a more resilient community.
"If a resident plans to build, they should check with us before building. If you are in the flood areas and you have to follow certain criteria of your structure when building, you are eligible for flood insurance."
Boozman visited Logan County on Monday to access the flood damage since a majority of the water has receded and to discuss the levee concerns and future plans.
On Tuesday, a meeting was held to discuss funding and to discuss ways that will alleviate future disasters.