Neighbors from Poarch helping East Brewton in tornado recovery

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

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The hum of chainsaws, backhoes, bobcats and dump trucks can be heard throughout East Brewton as workers continue their cleanup efforts in the city. The wide-spread destruction is the result of an EF2 tornado that ripped through a 22-mile stretch of Escambia County including a large area in East Brewton.

East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark said crews loaned to the city by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are doing the majority of the work being seen in the area.

“I went to a meeting with the PCI Council with (Escambia County) Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins on Monday,” Clark said. “We explained to them the situation we had here and asked if they could offer any help. By Tuesday morning, there were people looking around to assess the situation and they had trucks and big equipment here ready to work in no time at all.”

Clark said the progress that has been made in just a few days is amazing — and very much appreciated.

“They are not playing around with this cleanup,” Clark said Thursday. “They have already gotten Ballard Street cleaned up and are making good progress in other areas.

“Steve Creamer was generous enough to allow the debris from the trees to be hauled to a pit on Baggett Circle and he has two trucks that are working to haul debris, too,” Clark said. “The workers have already taken a lot of loads of tree limbs, stumps and that kind of debris to the pit. We are taking other debris from homes and such to the landfill.”

Clark said thank you would not be sufficient in expressing his gratitude from the Poarch Council and the Atmore community.

“We just can’t thank them enough,” Clark said. “Neighbors helping neighbors is just what they’re doing. I also want to express thanks to Atmore Mayor Jim Staff for offering to feed the employees next week as this cleanup continues in East Brewton. This is and has been awful, but we are getting there. It’s amazing just how much they’re moving for us. It’s wonderful to get some help.”

Clark said East Brewton has one driver and truck working along side the visiting workers.

“We just don’t have the equipment or manpower to tackle this much destruction on our own,” Clark said. “We are grateful for Poarch offering to help without asking for anything in return. They just wanted to help and we are happy to have them in our city.”