Oklahoma Chainsaw Relief Team Home After Helping Hurricane Irene's Victims

Monday, September 19th 2011, 4:30 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- More Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from Oklahoma are rotating to the East Coast to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Teams from Claremore and Holdenville are currently helping hurricane victims. 

The leader of a team from Bartlesville just returned back home. 

As a team of 10 volunteers from the Bartlesville area prepared to leave for North Carolina on Labor Day, they knew there would be a lot of labor ahead. Hurricane Irene had left a lot of work to be done in its wake.

"You know, it was actually worse that what we had seen on the news," said Steve Cabler, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team leader.

The damage was worse than anticipated because of the triple threat Irene brought: wind damage, the storm surge, and flooding. 

"While it didn't come in as windy as a lot of category three storms, or whatever, it did substantial damage because it was there for a long time," Cabler said.

The chainsaw team took a trailer loaded with 18 chainsaws and other equipment, clearing trees off roofs, from cemeteries, you name it. 

"With the wet soil, they just came down - root ball and all," Cabler said.

During the week the volunteers were in North Carolina, they helped 22 different families. 

9/5/2011 Related Story: Oklahoma Baptist Chainsaw Teams Head East To Help Hurricane Irene Victims

"They're looking at their yards, and they're just covered under, and I think they're overwhelmed," said Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leader Steve Cabler.

Seeing a team of Oklahomans willing to help made it less overwhelming, and while removing trees, they also planted seeds of kindness. 

Southern Baptist Chainsaw Relief Team Photos

"Loving on the people we come into contact with, you know, being a good ear just for people to tell their stories to, and just showing them a Christ-like attitude," the Bartlesville man said.

Now back in Bartlesville, they'll clean up their equipment, and make repairs and get ready for the next time they're needed. 

"I'm always so proud of my team - those guys get out there and serve with a servant's heart."

While the crews from Bartlesville and Drumright were in North Carolina, there were 270 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams all working to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.