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Tornado recovery continues in Hot Springs, local restaurant damaged

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Collin Heaton saw roofs blown off, trees knocked over and power lines strung across roads on Wednesday morning after an EF-2 tornado came through Hot Springs.

“I knew it was bad from being in it, but it was worse than I thought it was,” Heaton said.

National Weather Service says Hot Springs hit by EF-2 tornado overnight

He felt and heard the power of the storm and expected to see damage to his own home.

“I drove across the bridges on 7, and I saw the Belle of Hot Springs just floating out in the middle of the water,” Heaton said.

But his condo was untouched.

“I’m a believer and it definitely seemed like God put his hand over me, and a couple other people who live in my condo complex that night,” Heaton said.

His condo is just feet away from buildings that were damaged.

“I’m right between two hotels, both hotels had roof damage, I’m right by Jose’s, Jose’s had a power pole on it,” Heaton said.

‘Scariest moment of my life’ EF-2 tornado flips Garland County home

Just a few hundred feet away sits Jose’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, a staple in the Spa City.

Owner, Jose Soto, said he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I didn’t think it was real,” Soto said.

Soto said he started getting pictures of damage early Wednesday morning.

“Our back awning was basically all ripped off, we’ve had two or three power lines fall down,” Soto said.

The metal awning once behind the building, now wrapped around the front. They are now closed and said even though they can’t serve their customers today, they’ve felt their love.

“A lot of heartwarming messages really means the world to see so many people support us,” Soto said.

They are currently closed at the location on Central Avenue but hope to be back open at this location by next week.

Recovery efforts begin in Hot Springs after EF-2 tornado

Everyone is thankful that no one was seriously hurt.

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