VILONIA, Ark. (KTHV) -- The search and rescue is over, today is all about surveying the damage so the rebuilding can start. Among the hundreds of volunteers are people working to provide the essentials.
The eerie silence that followed the tornado has been replaced by the roar of rebuilding heard and seen all along Main Street of Vilonia.
Dozens of homes and businesses are gone, but the volunteers came as soon as the overnight curfew was lifted. Reggie Jetton of Paragould said, "We got here at seven this morning, there wasn't anybody here. Fifteen, 20 minutes later they just started piling in wanting to know where they could park."
An army of volunteers worked alongside electrical workers and law enforcement. And among them is the unmistakable smell of thick cut bacon on a grill. Behind the grill, Jetton cooks up food for volunteers. He first drove the two and a half hours to check on his son, but now his attention is shifted to the volunteers.
Unfortunately, the town of Vilonia has experience with coordinating an effort like Tuesday's. In 2011, a tornado killed four. Jim King with the Vilonia City Council said, "You wish it wasn't you, but it's just one of those things, you can't do anything about it."
It was back in 2011, that the city of Vilonia started registering volunteers. It was a similar scene Tuesday morning at the Baptist church outside of town as an effort to coordinate crews and hopefully, prevent looting. King said, "Just three years ago we went through the same process and it was very successfully done three years ago."
Its a clean up that shows no signs of slowing down. Those who have been through this before know it is a marathon not a sprint, recovery will take years. Jetton said, "I think that shows that the people are here to help each other. That's the American way to help each other."
An effort that Jetton will fuel the way he knows how.
After the tornado three years ago, the council created a disaster response task force. Through its efforts they say shelters were in place in all schools in town. They say this saved lives this go around.