Volunteers Pour In To Help Quapaw Tornado Victims

Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 1:32 pm
By: Craig Day

The National Weather Service says the tornado that ripped through Quapaw on Sunday, killing one person, started about three miles southwest of town, and traveled more than 11 miles as it went into Kansas.

The tornado had an average damage path of about 325 yards wide.

Storm victims are getting help from others who know what they're going through.

Despite some rain and a cool breeze throughout much of the day in Quapaw, a significant amount of progress was being made as the town worked to recover from the tornado. But that progress wouldn't be done without countless volunteers.

4/28/2014 Related Story: Quapaw Tornado Rated An EF-2 By National Weather Service

On another day of cleanup in Quapaw, Ottawa County health workers were giving out tetanus shots to tornado victims and volunteers who were cleaning up the debris that stretches across much of the town.

There are many of those volunteers in Quapaw making a difference.

Storm victim, Jim Johnson, said, "These people, they put out a lot."

Although Johnson didn't lose as much as some neighbors, he's moved to tears by the kindness of others.

"Everybody is working, everybody is helping each other. It really came together, everybody is just so thankful," said Kim Williams with the Ottawa County Health Department.

Paige Reagan gave up her high school senior skip day to help total strangers. She said volunteering would was more important than the other activities she could have done on her skip day.

Many of the volunteers are from church groups. They're going from street to street, and house to house.

Volunteer, Chris Newby, said, "Cleaned out the house over there, then we moved to this house, the house next door. Now we're at this house. Next we're moving to the home on the corner there, and going to a house over on Virginia Street."

Many of the volunteers are from the Joplin area, which is only a half hour from Quapaw. Either they, or someone they know, were impacted by that devastating tornado.

"We know what it's like, so, just to help out and do what we can because of what God did for us," Reagan said.

So, they've come to Quapaw to lend a helping hand.

"Everybody has just done things that are out of this world," Johnson said.

Not only are volunteers coming from across Oklahoma, they're also coming from neighboring Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.