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Little Rock businesses devastated after tornado



Little Rock, Arkansas – This week, many employees who work along one of Little Rock’s busiest avenues have been working nonstop to make whatever progress they can toward getting back to work.

The tornado on Friday severely damaged a number of companies on Cantrell between the junctions of Andover and Foxcroft, necessitating the recovery of hundreds of offices before staff members may return.

Even though it was raining and there were severe weather warnings in Little Rock on Wednesday, Mark Barazaneeh, the general manager of Hadidi Oriental Rugs, was at his shop working. Since the tornado, he claimed, his staff has been working nonstop every day to attempt to get back on their feet as quickly as they can.

Barazaneeh claimed to have been in the business on Friday afternoon when the storm struck. He described the incident to us, taking us through each step of those brief moments while stating that it was “unbelievable.”

“After I was watching the news, I came to check the weather,” he said. “I suddenly saw very dark cloud touching the ground, and suddenly I noticed there was some debris.”

Barazaneeh claimed he acted immediately and made sure his staff members did as well.

“I said, ‘Guys, let’s get to the hallway,’ and we all rushed to this room,” he said, showing the small closet where he and four other employees took cover.

According to Barazaneeh, the violent winds and deafening noises passed by in what seemed like seconds, leaving them unprepared for the extent of the damage when they emerged from their safe chamber.

“We came out and then we were in shock at the damage,” Barazaneeh said. “There were so many ladies outside shaking.”

Barazaneeh’s car was among the dozens of vehicles outside the shop that were totaled. The gusts had even carried some across the parking lot.

“It was like a warzone,” he said.

As a result of the tornado, according to Barazaneeh, his store may lose up to a few hundred rugs that were ruined by debris and rain that entered when the roof collapsed. In addition to the mess that will take months to clean up, the roof and windows will need to be replaced. Along with the debris and rain that poured in, the floor across the store was covered with broken glass from the windows.

However, Barazaneeh claimed that since everything was replaceable, the focus should not be on what exactly they lost. He said that he is still alive, as are his staff members and others working at nearby companies.

The goodwill he has witnessed from the neighborhood pulling together in this time of need transcends the sadness they have endured, he continued. He urged us to express our gratitude to all the volunteers who contributed food and drink throughout the week and weekend.

“The community came together, unbelievably,” he said. “It was very emotional for us.”