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A man carries a U.S. flag out of the rubble of a tornado-damaged home in Adamsville, Tenn. on Saturday, April 1, 2023. (Jamar Coach/The Jackson Sun via AP)

'Praise the Lord, We're Alive!' Victims of 52 Tornadoes Survey the Damage; 32 Dead

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Rescue and recovery efforts are underway in 11 states after tornadoes killed at least 32 people over the weekend. 

In devastated Wynne, Arkansas where four people died, Pastor Marvin Norman described driving his wife through what was left of their community.  "She said, 'Turn around, take me home, I can't stand it.' She said, 'Take me home.'"

As many as 52 tornadoes left a path of destruction across America's midsection and east, killing dozens.  

An EF3 tornado tore through the Arkansas capital of Little Rock as Cody Coombs had to ride it out in his van. "Yeah, 100%, I did think I was going to die once I saw the winds picked up the way they did," Coombs said.

In the small town of Adamsville, Tennessee, 9 people lost their lives. 

Misti Gardner and her family sought shelter in their basement when a tornado hit and destroyed their home. "I was watching my husband, he was down on his knees praying, and I was listening to him pray," Gardner said. "I was just saying 'Yes Lord, yes Lord, keep us safe.'" 

After the tornado, video showed the family shouting, "Praise the Lord, we're alive, we're alive!"

Northwest of Chicago, a roof collapsed at a concert venue, killing one person. 

Joe Biden has declared Arkansas a major disaster area. In Wynne, Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised the recovery effort. 

"Obviously this is just an unbelievably tragic moment for our state, but what I've found is amazing are the people stepping up not just from this community but across all of Arkansas," Sanders said.

Operation Blessing assessment teams are on the ground meeting with pastors to begin distributing and serving food, water and other relief supplies to their communities.

Pastor Matt Hodges of First Assembly of God in Wynne, Arkansas said, "We're thankful for organizations like (Operation Blessing) that has come in and been partnering with the local church."

Pastor Marvin Norman of Tabernacle of Faith said, "When you look at our city, it hurts – to see there's such a great need, and to see people who've lost everything – and to see people who've lost everything and didn't have nothing to start with hardly."

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, which was devastated by last week's tornadoes, Operation Blessing is continuing to deliver loads of food and water through local churches there.


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Since joining CBN News, Dale has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America. Dale also covered China's opening to capitalism in the early 1990s, as well as the Yugoslav Civil War. CBN News awarded him its Command Performance Award for his reporting from Moscow and Sarajevo. Since 9/11, Dale has reported extensively on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe. Follow Dale on Twitter @dalehurd and "like" him at