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Relief continues in Arkansas, Task Force One comes home

By Lucas Geisler, Reporter, lucas.geisler@kmiz.com
Published On: Apr 30 2014 05:32:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 05:42:33 PM CDT

Missouri Task Force 1 returns to Columbia

BRANSON, Mo. -

The focus Wednesday in Central Arkansas moves towards repairing infrastructure, rather than accounting for missing people.

Mayflower Superintendent of Schools John Gray said 75% of the students in the school district are without power.

Chain Electric has crews throughout Faulkner County.

One worker said one mile and a half stretch may take all day to restore power to.

That work won't involve Missouri Task Force 1, who was deactivated by FEMA Wednesday.

Doug Westhoff is part of FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue Unit.

Westhoff said local authorities have a good grasp on the situation, and don't need extensive federal help.

"They got a handle on everybody that's in the area, and accounted for everybody very quickly. Either alive, injured, deceased, whatever, but it wasn't a situation where it went for days wondering about the status of individuals. They were very organized and able to resolve that missing persons list very quickly, and often times, that's what we're called
in to assist with," said Westhoff.

He said the main difference between the tornado in Arkansas and the ones in Joplin, and Moore, Oklahoma is those had missing persons lists numbering in the hundreds, whereas this one mainly did property damage.

Now, families in Arkansas will be left to pick through the rubble of homes and businesses and figure out where to go next.

Westhoff did say communities in the Midwest are often prepared for tornado relief due to the frequency of the disaster in the area. 

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