Remembering Tornado of 1995

February 16, 2005

"We started to the basement, but we didn't make it to the basement, it pretty much destroyed our house," Charlie McClendon, the tornado survivor, said.

McClendon's house and 150 homes were destroyed throughout Arab and Joppa. The tornado leveled buildings and lives. One hundred and thirty people were injured, six killed.

"I saw him, I got him out of the rubbage," said McClendon, Marshall County District One Commissioner.

He was talking about his son in law, David Price.  David died when they're mobile home was tossed in the wind. David's wife was pregnant with their first child, Will.  He's now nine, and never knew his father.

McClendon says in '95 they didn't have a single warning siren.

"Arab didn't have any, the county didn't have any, there was absolutely no warning and that particular tornado started the sirens in Arab," said McClendon.

Today the town has several sirens. But the one on Highway 231, has something extra. A plaque in honor of the six killed. A way to remember those lost, while sending warnings to not repeat the past.

Immediately after the '95 tornado, officials worked to get the sirens up.