Dr. Boozman's Check-up

A year ago today, a massive tornado tore through central Arkansas killing sixteen people in Faulkner, Pulaski and White counties. 

Faulkner County, particularly the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia, bore the brunt of the impact. Those two towns were devastated by the tornado.  

The website of Faulkner County’s daily newspaper, the Log Cabin Democrat, today is featuring a series of stories reflecting on the disaster, detailing the recovery and remembering those who lost their lives. I encourage you to read some of these stories—both the somber remembrances and the uplifting stories of recovery. 

There was a moving gathering in Mayflower last night and one scheduled for this evening in Vilonia. These events give community members an opportunity to honor the lives of the neighbors they lost in the tragedy as well as celebrate the efforts made to rebuild in the past year. 

Residents of Mayflower and Vilonia can be very proud of the progress that their communities have made to rebuild after the storm. The recovery efforts mark the first time that the state of Arkansas has used the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which brought all federal agencies under one roof to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. By all accounts it has made a positive difference in the process. 

While tremendous progress has been made, more work remains to be done. I know that the community and state officials, as well as the entire Congressional delegation, all remain committed to finishing the job. Arkansans have always come together in the most difficult times to help neighbors in need. It’s clear that commitment continues today. 

In Arkansas, it is an unfortunate truth that we are all too familiar with the destruction that Mother Nature can leave behind. However, that still doesn’t make it any easier. On this fateful anniversary, let us remember the sixteen lives the tornado took. Please keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.