Volunteers needed in Carl Junction cleanup efforts

Volunteers needed in Carl Junction cleanup efforts
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Cleanup efforts are underway in Carl Junction where an EF3 tornado touched down earlier in the week, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.

Sherry Brown has called this house home for the past 30 years, but now she’s saying goodbye, salvaging what she can.

“I think they’re gonna rip it down to the studs. They’re gonna have to sheet rock everything. I’ve got tree problems out there to deal with and stump problems. I don’t even have a place to live. I don’t know where I’m gonna go, so I’m at my mom’s house right now. I just wanted to lay my head somewhere where I felt safe,” said Brown.

Brown was in Carthage when the tornado struck Wednesday night, but her husband was at home, riding out the storm in the hall bathroom with their dog.

“He said it was just like being in a bunker in Vietnam.”

Friends, family and volunteers of all ages are cleaning up Brown’s yard, and she is thankful.

“It’s just amazing, it’s overwhelming. I mean you just cannot believe how people come together and take care of you, and they don’t know you! It’s amazing that they would do that.”

The rain isn’t slowing volunteers down, people are grabbing parkas and tarps, but more volunteers are still needed.

“Chainsaws are going to be needed for a long time and the people to run them will be needed to,” said Carl Junction City Administrator Steve Lawver.

“We need a lot of assistance with just pulling debris, tree vegetation, stuff like that, to the edge of the roads. We have a lot of product that are coming from the house, the garden area, things like that that also need to be pulled to the edge of the road, hopefully separated from each other, because different trucks are going to be picking up different piles,” explained Martha Niess, a volunteer coordinator.

Brown says things are still a long way from normal, but she has what she needs.

“It’s just a house. It’s just things, and I’m glad my husband wasn’t injured, or killed, or anything. So, it all can be replaced, it’s all good.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can check in at the Briarbrook Club House at 502 Briarbrook Drive in Carl Junction. Donations of batteries, ear plugs, air masks and work gloves are also needed.