New Efforts Hope To Reignite Volunteer Spirit For Tornado Cleanup

Sunday, April 19th 2015, 9:05 pm
By: News On 6

The cleanup in Sand Springs and west Tulsa is far from over nearly one month after the area was hit by a tornado.

In the weeks following the storm, community members say it has been somewhat forgotten.

In the days following the storm, volunteers were coming out in full force. But since help has died down, a Sapulpa church is hoping to reignite people's desire to help.

There were two mobile home parks hit by the March tornado -- River Oaks and Riverside. There has been some progress but it has been slow moving.

Foundation Church members were up early Sunday morning and turned on heavy machinery to help get the big stuff out of the way.

They said working with just hands and feet, you can work for hours and barely see the progress you have made.

But donated heavy machinery and huge trash bins make it where work that typically took hours now takes minutes.

Volunteers said to see the area cleaned up, the process is going to have to speed up and it's going to take more volunteers finish the job.

"Sometimes we forget these two communities, and I think there may be many more that went through the storm that have been forgotten,” Foundation Church Pastor Mike Lehew said. “So if we can just light people's fire in regards to the need …there's still a lot of things that need to be done to help this community get back on its feet."

Neither one of the communities were granted aid from FEMA.

And since many lost so much, there is no extra money.

People who live in the areas are asking others to donate trash dumpsters.

At the beginning of the day, 16 of the dumpsters were empty. Volunteers filled them to capacity. And looking around, the community is going to need a lot more.

A Sand Springs Community Services representatives says there are still about 19 families who are still displaced from the storm. A benefit was held Sunday night for those survivors at the Sandite Billiards and Grill.