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Arkansas Town Looks To Rebuild Months After Tornado Hits Main Street

It blew through town on Halloween night, but in many ways Caraway is still feeling the impact from that tornado.
CARAWAY, AR (localmemphis.com) -It blew through town on Halloween night, but in many ways Caraway is still feeling the impact from that tornado.

'We lost 11 buildings that night," Caraway Mayor Barry Riley said Thursday evening. "I was scared we were going to find kids."

The tornado severely damaged the town's hardware store, furniture store, drug store and funeral home.

Fortunately, no one was severely injured.

"We are blessed that we didn't lose anyone, with it being Halloween night there were kids out," Riley said. "It feels really great to rebuild but you wish you never got to the point to begin with."

Since Halloween, crews have demolished several stores and businesses leaving the city's main street quiet and empty.

Merett Emery is trying to change that.

Emery is building a new hardware store, taking over one of the town's oldest businesses.

"I just hope that maybe after we get our business up and running it will encourage some others maybe step in and do something," Emery said.

Emery hopes once his Caraway General Store is open, other businesses will come. He says the town of 1,200 could use a grocery store.

"It is hard to see it this way but I'm just not going to give up on our community and our town and see it survive," Emery said.

Mayor Riley agrees.

Since the tornado hit, Riley says the town has changed the way it does business. It now has a development task force that is looking to attract new businesses.

"This is my mom and dad's and grandma and grandpa's Caraway, now we have a chance to build our own Caraway, Riley said.
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