PARTHENON, Ark. (KSPR) - March began with a series of storms that tore up several communities across the Ozarks. The strongest tornado was an EF-2 that ripped through Parthenon, a small town south of Jasper.
One woman who was in the storm’s path had to take cover while the tornado destroyed her house. Chylene Crow moved from Oklahoma to Parthenon two years ago.
“Right outside of Moore, where all the tornadoes are,” she laughed.
Crow says she thought this town might be safe from tornadoes.
“Unfortunately, Nature has her own plans and designs,” she said.
When the storm hit early in the morning on March 7, Crow had to act fast.
“I was asleep and I heard a big noise, and I said, ‘Baby what is that?’ And he said, ‘A tree fell on the house.' And so I got up and I heard another big noise, and I said, ‘I’m going under the bed. That might be a tornado," she said.
She was right, said Dennis Cavanaugh, a National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist.
“We were pretty confident in assigning this an EF-2 rating with maximum winds of 120 miles an hour," said Cavanaugh.
Strong winds peeled chunks of metal off barns and houses, threw it into the air and wrapped it around tree branches. The tornado also destroyed much of the church that’s right next to her house.
“This building here was the the fellowship hall. Of course, you can see the roof is completely gone, and it looks like a tossed salad inside," said Brandi Edwards, the pastor's wife.
Across the street, the tornado obliterated the trailer that was being used as the town’s post office. The tornado rolled the trailer off its concrete blocks, through the parking lot and across the street, roughly 200 feet.
After the tornado, Crow had to find a new place to live but she was grateful that everyone in this town survived the storm.
“I think that gratitude is the response to have to get through this because it happens to all of us,” she said.
One minor injury was reported after the storm.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado’s path was almost 37 miles long.