Outside Aid Helps Screven Tornado Cleanup

Slowly but surely, people in one community are pulling themselves out from the rubble after disaster struck. A tornado touched down in the town of Screven in Wayne County Tuesday night. It leveled trees, homes and businesses in a matter of seconds.

Miraculously no one suffered serious injury.

For some, cleaning up may seem like an impossible task. But with some outside aid, people are rebuilding their lives and their community.

The streets of Screven were filled with the sounds of chainsaws, heavy machines, and tin roofs scraped off the pavement as people got down to the business of putting Tuesday's tornado behind them.

Friends helped Charlie Hillman move the rubble that was his carport. He's already talked to insurance people and gotten photographs. "I was in the insurance business for 32 years, I know it will take a while to get it all straight," he told us.

The governor has declared a state of emergency in Wayne County. That brought state DOT workers to help city crews clear streets. Southern Baptist volunteers have come to help feed emergency workers and those left without a home.

"We've had so many people offer help from nearby towns, it's just amazing," said Mayor Donald Boyette.

People there are grateful for those who've come to help. They say what they don't need is more traffic from sightseers, rubberneckers, and a few words we can't publish here.

After a day to reflect on their losses, people here say it's time to buckle down and put their lives back together.

Mayor Boyette wanted to thank all the groups that are helping or are on the way. Right now, there's so many he didn't want to omit any names.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com