Volunteers needed for tornado recovery effort - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Volunteers needed for tornado recovery effort

© Registering will help match skill sets to required work in the community. © Registering will help match skill sets to required work in the community.

The call is going out for volunteers to help storm victims in Limestone County.

Many people in the Coxey community are getting aid from church groups and people from outside of the area. Some of the community members have lost everything they have. Many were renters who had no insurance that would help them down the road.

In the short-term, people here are in need of the basic necessities. For those who didn't lose their homes, they still do not have power, so they are in need too.

There is no timetable for power restoration in the hardest-hit areas of the county. The storm knocked down roughly 200 power poles. Crews from Huntsville, Florence and Decatur are assisting, as are three utility companies from Tennessee.

One family we spoke to had a generator, but it quit after only a day. Now they, like so many others, are waiting for the lights to come back on.

"I know it's going to take some time," said homeowner Greg Clem. "Hopefully in a few days we'll get our power back. I figure it may be a couple of weeks, but I know they're working as hard as they can."

With the Salvation Army delivering meals right now, the needs are still being evaluated. The United Way is working with the emergency management agency to figure out what needs to be done.

They want people who can operate large equipment, who can handle a chainsaw, people who can help feed storm victims, and volunteers willing to pick up debris.

The United Way is asking anyone who wants to volunteer to register now. You may be sent out soon or over the coming weeks.

Athens/Limestone United Way Director Kaye Young McFarlen said they need to know "who the individual is, how we can contact them, and the skill sets that they have so we can match their skills with what the needs are. As those needs are identified by EMA and by our partner agencies, we match the volunteers to that particular need and then send them out."

The best way to register is to submit your info online. You can also register in-person at the United Way office on 419 South Marion Street in Athens.

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