Volunteers Work to Clean Up Troy Tornado Damage


By Brittany Bivins

People in Pike County are still working to clean up after two tornadoes touched down Christmas Day. On Saturday, dozens of volunteers gathered at Brantley Mobile Home Park in Troy to start the next step in the recovery process.

An organized volunteer clean-up day brought out local churches, neighbors, and tornado victim's families to clean up, so the community can rebuild.

They came with rakes, chainsaws and tractors to clean up the debris left by an EF-2 tornado that damaged or destroyed eleven mobile homes at Brantley Mobile Home Park and left five families homeless.

"We never thought we'd get this kind of response so quick. The sooner we can get this, we can rebuild, regroup, and try to get everyone's lives back to normal," said Mike LeCroy, who owns Brantley Mobile Home Park.

About three dozen volunteers worked through the morning, cutting down dangerous tree limbs and sorting through the rubble that people used to call home.For many of the volunteers, it was personal.

"This is basically my first home. A first time homeowner, I chose this place, it's my community, where I started out living, so it's kind of my way of giving back for giving me a place to stay," said Justin Baker, who lives at Brantley Mobile Home Park.

"I just had to come to help, you know, clean up, because god spared my brother's life, and I'm just so grateful to still have him, and I couldn't lay there at home while other people are cleaning, and I just felt in my heart that I should be here too," said Euriline Siler, whose brother lost his home in the storm.

And while there's still a lot of work to do, for storm victims, this was a reminder that people in their community care."It definitely warmed my heart. there's no way we could do it without this, so it's just amazing, and such a good feeling to have these people here," said LeCroy.

Many storms victims say they lost everything they owned in the tornado. The Pike County Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross say they'll continue working with victims over the coming months.