Incoming Rain Brings Sense of Urgency for Tornado Cleanup Volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers are lending a much needed helping hand in Lee County, as victims from Sunday’s tornado are still looking for anything they can salvage.

“Seeing all the volunteers and the people picking up items and pictures they don’t even know the people that they belong to, but they know they matter to somebody,” Eight Days of Hope volunteer Jane Wright says.

Piles of debris lay beside one of the worst hit areas on Highway 51, where homes once stood.
Now, residents are discovering the kindness of strangers.

“The outpouring of love from the community is what keeps us going,” resident Jeff Rowan says. He came to look for keepsakes in the rubble of his ex-wife’s home.

“My heart is broken for the residents of this community, people that I’ve known all my life and been around,” Rowans says. “It’s hard to witness it.”

There is a sense of urgency for volunteers, as more rain is expected this weekend.

That rain could hinder clean up efforts and further damage personal belongings.

“There’s some rain,” volunteer Brian Andrews says. “You know I don’t know how bad it’s going to be but we definitely want to get all that cleaned up and hopefully try to beat the rain.”

“Everything that we’ve seen and picking through is gonna get weighted down so we’re trying to get up as much as we possibly can and salvage it,” Wright says.

Volunteers from the Mississippi “Eight Days of Hope” group came when they heard the forecast for more rain.
The charity goes to the scene of natural disasters to help with cleanup efforts.

“Just getting trees off people’s homes, getting their driveways cleared, putting up tarps to make sure rain doesn’t come into their homes,” Wright says.

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