Thousands of Volunteers Help Clean Up After Tennessee Tornado

COOKEVILLE, TN - MARCH 04: Piled debris surrounds foundations left after a tornado early Tuesday morning on March 4, 2020 in Cookeville, Tennessee. A tornado passed through the Nashville area early Tuesday morning which left Putnam County with 18 killed and 38 unaccounted for. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Thousands of volunteers have descended upon the tornado-torn areas of Tennessee to help clean up after Tuesday’s storms.

Cars loaded with tools and trucks filled with cases of water, diapers, gloves, and other supplies showed up in Tennessee Saturday as volunteers used chainsaws to cut through the debris left behind by the storms, according to the Tennessean.

“Scenes like this played out across the region, including in East Nashville, Donelson, Hermitage, Mount Juliet and Lebanon, areas hits by the EF-3 tornado that traveled approximately 60 miles through the city on its way east,” the article read.

One first-time volunteer told an organizer with Hands On Nashville that she wanted to help but was not sure what she could do.

“That’s OK. Thank you for just being here,” the organizer said, then handed her a pair of gloves and some trash bags and instructed her to join a nearby group of volunteers.

“It’s amazing to see the community just come together, both those who have been affected and people who haven’t been,” said Americorps member Lily Sronkoski.

“Everyone is really coming together for this effort,” she noted.

Tuesday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted that the city was hurting and urged community members to help each other recover from the devastation.

“Be sure to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, and let’s come together as a community once more. Together, we will get through this and come out stronger,” he wrote.

When South Carolina resident Craig Lund heard there was a need for people to help clear debris, he immediately got in his truck and drove to Tennessee.

“In Charleston we have terrible hurricanes and people come from all over to volunteer so I’m just trying to pay that back,” he said.

Friday on Twitter, Gov. Bill Lee praised Tennesseans and the volunteers for their efforts.

“The government, the state, the federal government, we can provide a framework but real hope comes from the people. It comes from the hands and the feet and the hearts of those who go out and serve their neighbors,” Lee said.

“And we have seen thousands of people come out. We are the Volunteer State. We’re showing it now. We can do this and we can recover, we will come together. It makes me proud to be a Tennessean, and it makes me very proud to be your governor,” he concluded.

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