Hundreds of volunteers help with clean up efforts in Calhoun County
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Calhoun County leaders said they need volunteers to help areas impacted by the tornadoes in Calhoun County.
A Twitter post said: We encourage anyone that can dedicate their time to helping the impacted community to head to Oak Bowery Church this week from 8AM - 4PM. 3300 AL 144, Ohatchee *Must be 18 years *Don’t need a special skillset *Bring gloves & hard sole shoes if you have them.
Many families are in recovery mode after dozens of tornadoes ripped through Alabama communities.
Organizers at the volunteer reception center in Ohatchee said they had more than 300 people offering to help clean up after the devastating tornadoes.
“These first few days are really just about what we need to do out there,” Organizer with Calhoun County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster April Lafollette said. “Well the damage is really profound, We are finding when we send folks out to remove those trees from the structures, the structures are unsound, so we know they wont be able to go back into their homes.”
The National Weather Service reports the damage in Ohatchee is at least damage from an EF-2 tornado.
The county EMA is partnering with United Way and hosting a volunteer center at Oak Bowery Church.
“The EMA provides us a list of sites that actually need volunteers, so we have all that cataloged here so when folks come up here, they can tell us what their abilities are, and we can match them up with a site that can best use them,” Lafollette said.
She said there are at least 100 different sites in need of help, but she said it’s important to stop by the volunteer center to fill out forms first.
“That paperwork is important,” Lafollette said. “If FEMA comes in here and declares this a disaster, we are able to use the hours that folks put in at these sites to prove what the need is here.”
Along with coordinating volunteers, Lafollette said they are helping connect survivors to the resources they need.
“We’ve been able to house some folks in hotels, food to the house, and we’ve made sure the roofs are tarped after we get the trees off,” she said. “We are delivering three meals a day to folks out in the community who have been affected by the disaster.”
Click here if you are in need of assistance.
Click here if you want to volunteer to help.
Click here for the Calhoun County EMA website.
Because of weather, the volunteer center will not be sending out any crews in Calhoun County until Monday morning.
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