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418 Faulkner County homes damaged in tornado, official says

Mayflower curfew to be lifted Saturday

By Lisa Burnett

This article was originally published May 2, 2014 at 4:19 p.m. Updated May 2, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.

Team Rubicon to help lead tornado cleanup in Faulkner County

Wes Craiglow of Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, explains protocol for those helping with tornado cleanup. (By Lisa Burnett)
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A Faulkner County official says 418 homes within the county were damaged in Sunday's EF4-rated tornado.

County spokesman David Hogue said at a news conference Friday afternoon in Conway that 115 homes sustained major damage, 248 homes had minor damage and 74 homes were otherwise affected.

Hogue also announced that Mayflower’s 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew will end Saturday morning, while Vilonia’s curfew will remain in place until further notice.

Hogue again urged county residents to not burn tornado debris, saying that the smoke could contain harmful toxins.

One toxin that could potentially be released is arsenic, Hogue said.

“There’s lots of toxins in the black smoke released by burning this debris,” he said.

Wes Craiglow, a spokesman for Team Rubicon, also spoke at the conference.

He said the amount of people coming to volunteer on Saturday is expected to be “overwhelming.”

“We’re going to have volunteers coming from throughout the state and states adjoining,” Craiglow said. “[Volunteer numbers] are expected deep into the thousands.”

Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, is responsible for volunteer management during the tornado cleanup. Most Saturday and Sunday volunteers will be helping with home repair and debris removal, Craiglow said.

Volunteers will be asked to register with Team Rubicon before heading out into the damage.

“They will be assigned to a team and then will be dispatched for work for the day. Some of that work will be a little informal, but it depends on folks’ abilities,” Craiglow said.

Volunteers are asked to come prepared for “rigorous” labor.

“That includes boots and long pants if at all possible, but definitely no shorts and flip-flops,” he said. “Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed on a Team Rubicon work order. It’s simply too dangerous.”

Volunteers may check in at Home Depot in Conway at 500 Elsinger Blvd., the Beryl Baptist Church at 873 U.S. 64B in Vilonia or at 57 Interstate Drive in Mayflower.

Minors are not permitted to work unless they have a parent present to sign a waiver, Craiglow said.

Team Rubicon's cleanup efforts will stretch throughout the month of May. Craiglow said volunteers will be needed throughout the month and can report to any location during that time.

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