Wynne woman received life-saving advice, years before the tornado

Woman shares experience during tornado
Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:12 PM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - A woman who survived the March 31 tornado in Wynne credited her survival to her late husband.

Freida Chapman was sitting in front of her house which had a tree on top of it.

As she looked around at the damage in her neighborhood Saturday, just a few blocks away she realized two people were killed in the tornado.

“There’s not words that I know that…” she paused… the words could not come to her.

She lived in the same house for 40 years. She said she had seen a tornado before, but never one close to home.

“I was listening to my phone, and I was watching KAIT, watching the weather and I knew that it had hit Little Rock and they had said it would be here in a couple of hours,” she said.

Once the sirens went off, she dove into her closet, where she waited for the danger to pass.

“I could feel it, I could feel it and I could hear it… and it was loud like everybody always says it is. It was loud,” she said. She likened it to a freight train passing.

The house was a complete loss. A tree landed on the house and destroyed what used to be a two-story house. Chapman credited her survival to her late husband, who knew exactly where she’d be safe.

“He had told me then, not to get into this part of the house because the tornadoes would originate from the southwest so I had a little closet that I kept cleared out,” she said.

Chapman took her pets and stayed in the closet. After the tornado, Chapman could not get out the front door, so she and some of her pets got out of the house through a doggy door.

Chapman is still searching for some of her pets, but her thoughts lie with her community.

“I just want the people to know that I’m praying for them… I’m praying... just don’t give up on God,” she said.