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Visiting church group offering aid for tornado victims

Around 40 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made their way to the Brewton/East Breton area last week to assist in clean-up of debris left by the June 19 tornado that impacted the area.

The group moved over 400 yards of trees, limbs and assorted debris during their time in the community.

Pensacola, Fla., Latter-day Saints area President, Jacob Smith, was part of the group that assisted area residents with recovery.

Smith worked with a tractor most of the day moving trees into a burn pile and others to the street for pick up.

“If we had had 150 people, we wouldn’t have made much of a dent in the clean up needed  there,” Smith said. “Some areas were so devastated a missile shot from an F16 couldn’t have caused worse damage. We need about three weekends of volunteers coming in with big equipment to work in the Brewton area to make a difference.”

East Brewton magistrate, Linda Ballard, said there are plenty of people who need assistance with clean up and recovery.

East Brewton was hit especially hard. Families, especially the elderly, disabled, or first responders who need roofs tarped, trees cleared from homes to allow access or to get electricity returned should contact Ballard’s office at 251-867-4091 as coordination of efforts are made.

The group is planning to bring more volunteers to Brewton the weekend of July 10 and 11.

“We are expecting 200 to 250,” Smith said. “We are looking for a place where we could stage. We would have portable toilets, camping tents for Saturday night only, trucks, trailers and command center tables and tents. If we could have access to power and water, it would be nice, but we are fine without it.”

If you can provide a staging location, please contact: President Danny Carpenter at 334-782-7922 or by email at Carpenter35@hotmail.com.