(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published May 1, 2014)
The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office made it a goal on Wednesday to respond to the needs of people in places that haven’t had as much attention from the hundreds of volunteers that have been working to start the recovery process.
In the Harrell Loop Road area, at the south end of Lake Conway, were people who have lost their homes and have been "blocked off from town," Chief Deputy Matt Rice said. They were among dozens in the rural neighborhoods and isolated homes in the path of Sunday’s tornado in the unincorporated areas between the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia, where the volunteer efforts haven’t been as quick to respond.
"There are so many people out there in the situation that, even though we’ve got all these places where they could go get food and supplies and stuff, their cars are strewn about all over the place and torn up and they’re depending on somebody to get to them," Rice said. "A lot of people are focusing right on Mayflower, right on Vilonia, and we’ve got a lot of people in between that need help too."
In response, FCSO put out a social media call asking for food and supplies and a way to transport them.
The response included a U-Haul truck and two truckloads of donated goods delivered to the unincorporated disaster areas on Wednesday.
On top of that, Sheriff Andy Shock said, deputies made about 40 trips delivering as much as they could get in their patrol cars.
Anyone else "that needs anything as far as supplies, or if they need help in certain areas, they can contact us," Rice said.
Shock said that he’s been having to tell his deputies that have been on the clock around the clock to go home and rest.
"I’m literally having to say, ‘You go home and get some rest, because this is not going to be a week-long process,’" he said. "I keep having to remind them that this is going to be going on for a long, long time, and they don’t need to burn out.
"All I can say right now about what I’ve seen today is that I absolutely could not be any prouder of our employees with the sheriff’s office."