National Guard to be called in to help with Claiborne County tornado cleanup

With thousands of dollars in damage and so much debris to clean up, the Claiborne County mayor is requesting assistance from the National Guard. In the meantime, volunteers and neighbors are working to sort through and dispose of all of the debris.
With thousands of dollars in damage and so much debris to clean up, the Claiborne County mayor is requesting assistance from the National Guard. In the meantime, volunteers and neighbors are working to sort through and dispose of all of the debris.

SPEEDWELL (WATE) – Clean up continues in Claiborne County after Sunday night’s tornado, and the cost of that damage continues to rise.

Ten homes were destroyed, a dozen damaged, and the county estimates $250,000 in damage to the area roads.

Related coverage: Tornado, strong storms destroy homes in East Tennessee

With thousands of dollars in damage and so much debris to clean up, the Claiborne County mayor is requesting assistance from the National Guard. In the meantime, volunteers and neighbors are working to sort through and dispose of all of the debris.

Crews are picking through what's left of Sheriff David Ray's home, burning the debris and what used to be his neighbor's roof.
Crews are picking through what’s left of Sheriff David Ray’s home, burning the debris and what used to be his neighbor’s roof.

Just a few days have made a lot of difference for the Rogers family. The tornado took out part of their shed and littered their home with trees.

"Its been a mess. Had bunch of people from down here come over, about 20 people or so and boy, they cleaned it up in a hurry," said Kenny Rogers.
“Its been a mess. Had bunch of people from down here come over, about 20 people or so and boy, they cleaned it up in a hurry,” said Kenny Rogers.

Just down the street sit massive piles of what used to be D&P Grocery Store. What do you do with the mess left behind from a tornado?

“We’re trying to separate the wood from the metal, from the items that won’t burn,” said Sheriff David Ray.

They’re picking through what’s left of the sheriff’s home, burning the debris and what used to be his neighbor’s roof.

“We’re going to continue to clean up the entire area, but it will be a few more days,” said the sheriff.

Things like all the insulation have to be placed in bags per EPA regulations and taken to a class three landfill. Crews have another plan for all the scrap metal.

"If anyone finds anything with personal information on it, please return it to the sheriff's department and we'll make sure it gets to the proper people," said Sheriff Ray.
“If anyone finds anything with personal information on it, please return it to the sheriff’s department and we’ll make sure it gets to the proper people,” said Sheriff Ray.

“I hope we can get a little money out of it, and then were going to donate that to the church that was damaged,” said Ray.

Mixed in with all the debris is so much personal information, including bills and even tax information.

“If anyone finds anything with personal information on it, please return it to the sheriff’s department and we’ll make sure it gets to the proper people,” said Ray.

With rain expected in the forecast, there is a sense of hurry to get even more of this picked up. If you have items that can’t be burned, the EMA director says put them near the roadside and they will come and pick them up.

The mayor is also expected to meet with the National Guard Thursday morning about helping clear some of the larger debris.

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