Volunteers pour into Yazoo City after tornado - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Volunteers pour into Yazoo City after tornado

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Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

YAZOO CITY, MS (WLBT) - Volunteers from across the state and even Alabama have converged on Yazoo City to help with recovery efforts.

In the first days after the disaster, the emphasis is on debris removal.

Dozens of homes and yards were still trapped beneath fallen tree limbs, brush and other debris.

So the arrival of strangers with chainsaw, four wheelers and rakes is a heartwarming sight for residents wondering where to begin.

Jennifer Bowan of Yazoo City, a former teacher and current nursing student, felt compelled to lend a hand.

She was with a group of seven out of town volunteers sent to Center Ridge Road off Highway 49.

"While we were pulling in this little lady stepped out of her house and asked if we would come here so we just came here. Everybody just pitches in to do what they can do raking and picking up limbs and moving them wherever the homeowner tells us," said Bowan.

In Bowan's group is 26 year old Houston Ward of Pearl.

"In just really wanted to help out with the cleanup efforts. It really says a lot about the state and it's people how we all band together to help others when we're in need," said Ward.

Kim Hancock, her mother and children were inside their Center Ridge Road home when the tornado hit and was grateful for the group's assistance.

"A tree had fallen on that end of the house. You don't know what it means for strangers to come up and just do this. I mean it really touches my heart," said Hancock.

The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services is coordinating the teams which are sent throughout the city.

"About 75% of the 227 volunteers that we have had through here in the last couple of days have been local residents. We've also had a huge number of folks come in from all across the state. Places like Tchula and Tupelo. Lots of folks from the Jackson metro area," said Commission for Volunteers Service Deputy Director Brandi McNeil.

The work on Center Ridge Road was the second stop of the day for the group.

Franklin County Tax Assessor Jeff Mullins was among them, spending the Confederate Memorial Holiday chopping up fallen trees and raking debris.

"People need help, and I think you help your friends in need. That's what it's all about in life, especially in Mississippi. We have some good hospitality here and everybody pitches in to work together," said Mullins.

Organization officials said they will continue coordinating cleanup crews for the remainder of the week.

Volunteers can go to the old Yazoo Motor Company located on Highway 49 to sign up to help with debris removal with the Mississippi Commission on Volunteer Services.

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