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Man from Jacksonville working tirelessly to aid tornado recovery



Jacksonville, Arkansas – Many people call Jacksonville their home, and many of them have done so for many years—like Travis Hooper, who has lived there for 46 years.

“Means everything. I was born and raised here, as these used to be my old stomping grounds when I was a kid,” said Hooper.

Hooper’s beloved hometown was impacted by a tornado on Friday afternoon. Houses were left without roofs, businesses were destroyed entirely, electricity restoration is still a work in progress, and the roads are still littered with debris.

“It missed my house probably a quarter of a mile,” said Hooper. “You really can’t explain it with words just took your breath out.”

Hooper acted as soon as there was no longer any threat to the city.

“Me and my cousin and everything got chainsaws ready and went to work,” Hooper explained.

He has been working around the clock to clean garbage and fallen tree limbs from places like Redmond Road.

By that same route, Dupree Park is now entirely gone.

“Redmond row was crazy,” said Hooper. “We helped the City of Jacksonville Park and Rec to clear the main roads for all the emergency people to come down to help whoever needed to be helped.”

He then kept trying to restore the ability to drive on the roadways.

“This road was completely blocked by that big old tree and all the brushes stuff around it and everything,” Hooper described. “It probably took us about four and five and a half hours we were here most of the day Saturday.”

More people have joined the effort every day, and the labor has not ceased.

“They didn’t care what it costs just we were out here to help,” said Hooper. “We didn’t care if you didn’t have a shirt on your back of what we had people coming up everywhere trying to help us to do it.”