Volunteers Help Clean Up Joelton Tornado Damage

Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-24 19:33:01-05

It's been nearly a week since multiple tornados tore through Middle Tennessee. EF-1 tornadoes hit Gladeville and Joelton, and an EF-0 hit Trousdale County on Saturday.

Folks have still been cleaning up, and many said they're in need of an extra set of hands. Volunteers in Joelton proved on Friday that tornado cleanup takes a village.

"I've never seen wind like that," said Ruth Smith, whose home was damaged in the storm.

It was a storm unlike any Smith had seen in Joelton in 50 years.

"I saw the clear skies and the limbs were not moving it, and I thought, 'Thank you, Lord, we missed one,' and then it hit the window next to me," Smith said. "I was standing by a double window, and it hit the one next to me, metal from my carport, and it bursted."

An EF-1 tornado ripped through town near the Union Hill Road area Saturday, tearing up trees, damaging roofs, and sending items like Smith's carport flying. 

"I was pretty frightened, but it left as quick as it came," Smith said. "I could never have thought the wind could come through this so bad."

"My workers are showing back up at the back," Smith continued. "They must have been loading the truck up. Now they're out back putting some more on the truck."

As the sun came up and the clouds cleared, homeowners realized just how much work there was to do.

Members of the First Baptist Church Joelton knew it was time to step up.

"When they first knocked on my door and told me they would come, I told them how much I would appreciate it, and I do and I still will," Smith said.

"Anytime a community has a disaster we pitch in," said a deacon at First Baptist Church Joelton. "We've been to Mississippi, we've been to Louisiana, but this is our home so we definitely are showing the love of our neighborhood that we care for everyone."

"A beautiful sight to see family and friends so busy to take care of the matter," Smith said.

First Baptist Church Joelton and other volunteers came out at 8 a.m. Friday to go around the community to cut down falling limbs, pick up debris, and ease the cleanup burden on homeowners.

"It's just a good feeling," the deacon said. "God's brought everyone together, and it shows that people care here in this neighborhood. We just pick up and take care of one another."

"All of the rest of it can be replaced," Smith said. "Nobody hurt. That's the main thing."