Volunteers flock to aid Lincoln Co. in storm relief

Volunteers lined up throughout Wednesday at the command center in Lincoln County TN.
Volunteers lined up throughout Wednesday at the command center in Lincoln County TN.

LINCOLN COUNTY, TN (WAFF) - In the second day of cleanup and recovery efforts after Monday's deadly storms, emergency responders and volunteers have made a lot of progress.

Park City Baptist Church is the command center for the Lincoln County TN effort. It is where the sheriff's office is stationed and where volunteers check-in before going to the hardest hit areas to help.

Volunteers flocked to the command center early Wednesday morning, and lines remained long throughout the day.

Red Cross volunteers are offering assistance to those who lost their homes or suffered property damage, and were joined in their efforts by people from all over.

The group went from property to property, helping any way they could. They handed out breakfast sandwiches and water. Bandages, hand sanitizer and any other needed supplies were distributed.

Sometimes, just a hug, a smile, or a kind word was needed, and promptly received.

Homeowners who lost everything were all very grateful, many in tears at the show of generosity.

Jan Freeman, a retired nurse who offered her help said she has seen her share of tragedy, but living nearby, this one hit too close to home.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam surveyed the damage Wednesday. He met with county officials and folks at the South Lincoln Elementary School, which was destroyed in Monday's tornado. Director of Schools, Dr. Wanda Shelton, had several meetings to determine what students will do for the remainder of the school year. Those plans have not yet been announced.

People came to Lincoln County High School to drop off needed items. Officials said the most urgent need is for the following items:

  • pet food
  • diapers/wipes
  • paper towels/toilet tissue
  • garbage bags
  • feminine hygiene products
  • toiletries
  • hand sanitizer
  • coolers
  • pillows

The Beta Club and Student Council from South Lincoln Elementary started the effort, and now every school in the county is involved. Students and volunteers said they were overwhelmed by the turnout. The group may be back Thursday to continue taking donations.

Lincoln County Schools will be closed through Friday, May 2. School officials said teachers will get items from the classrooms Thursday and Saturday. The Lincoln County Schools director said school will start back on Monday.

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