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Volunteers Work Together To Clean Up Adair County Cemetery

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Some headstones have toppled and shifted while others were untouched. Some headstones have toppled and shifted while others were untouched.
Crews hope to have the cemetery completely cleaned up by sometime next week. Crews hope to have the cemetery completely cleaned up by sometime next week.
Roy Maxwell helped organize the effort with the county commissioner, and the turnout was better than he expected. Roy Maxwell helped organize the effort with the county commissioner, and the turnout was better than he expected.
ADAIR COUNTY, Oklahoma -

There’s an effort to clean up the mess at an Adair County cemetery after straight line winds blew through, toppling trees and headstones.

Sitting high atop a hill in Adair County, the Bunch Cemetery is usually a quiet place.

“It's very serene. It's very peaceful here at this cemetery,” said Adair County resident, Brandy Girdner.

But the calm has been replaced by sounds of chainsaws and wood-chippers after a strong storm uprooted many trees last Friday.

“There was 16 laid down along the road up yonder and then we had five big ones in the cemetery,” said Bunch resident, Roy Maxwell.

Some headstones have toppled and shifted while others were untouched.

“This old cedar tree stood up for years. To me, the cedar tree saved the angel - this old tree fell on it and that big limb came right down,” Maxwell said.

Many of the folks helping cleanup are volunteering, and most of them have loved ones who are laid to rest there.

“It's been a family cemetery my whole life. Sentimental,” Maxwell said.

He helped organize the effort with the county commissioner, and the turnout was better than he expected.

“We're real fortunate that they do. And we appreciate them all that'd they're doing it,” he said.

Maxwell also feels fortunate that while there's a lot of damage, not a single headstone was broken - almost like someone was there to make sure things weren't worse.

“I think the good Lord was watching out over things,” Girdner said.

A monument company has agreed to come in and reset all the headstones that were moved during the storm.

Crews hope to have the cemetery completely cleaned up by sometime next week; the tricky thing, they said, will be figuring out what to do with all the large tree stumps.

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