Family of 8, Two Dogs, Rabbit & Lizard Survive Tornado in Safe Room

- MAYFLOWER, AR -- At the River Plantation subdivision in Faulkner County, people are staying strong and are ready to move forward after the April 27 tornado.

And they're getting help with moving forward from volunteers.

Dan, whose home was destroyed in the storm, recounted the moments before the tornado hit.

"It was to the left, but the whole sky was just churning, it was quite an unbelievable site," he recalls.

That's when he took his wife, six kids, two dogs, rabbit and lizard into the safe room....the only room left standing after the storm.

"I just put my hand on my wife's back," he says.

Everyone made it out safe, including the animals.

But, with that much destruction, families are relying on help from groups like Samaritan's Purse.

"We just try to concentrate more on the home owner then the home," says Team Leader Janet Wittenborn.

The task can seem overwhelming, but volunteers begin one piece at a time

"FEMA wants us to put metal in one pile and branches in another pile and whatever," Wittenborn explains.

And after two days of work on Dan's home, Samaritan's Purse made a huge difference.

"Whatever we needed, they were there to help," says Dan.

Taking so much debris away, volunteers also left something behind for the family...a Bible signed by all those working to make a difference.

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