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‘Heroic’ Arkansas Nursing Home Staff Credited with Saving Lives During Deadly Tornado


Much of the Midwest is waking up to the disaster caused by a severe tornado. Staff members voluntarily agreed to stay the night when the storm destroyed their Arkansas nursing home on Friday. Now they are being hailed as heroes.

“It was a really long and traumatic night for many of them who risked their own lives, not just being there, but I’ve heard accounts of nurses and aides physically putting themselves between residents and windows,” Rachel Bunch, executive director, Arkansas Healthcare Association said.

“Holding up mattresses and other things in an attempt to save their lives. It’s really heroic,” she said.

One person was killed when the tornado destroyed Monette Manor in northeast Arkansas. The roof got torn off before it obliterated the building.

A total of sixty-two people who live at the nursing home have been moved to other facilities in the area.

“A lot of the people had to be moved out of the facility one by one,” Bunch said. “And these are frail, fragile people who can’t walk on their own, can’t take care of themselves, require a lot of assistance.”

When Gov. Asa Hutchinson toured the disaster area Saturday, he said that it was remarkable more people weren’t killed when the roof collapsed.

“I’m grateful for the response and everybody pulling together on it,” he said.


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