Mayor Seeks More Volunteers

Wednesday, January 16th 2008, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's mayor appeals for more volunteer help to relieve the charities that have worked to help people since the ice storm. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports many charities can't do much more than they are already doing. So, Mayor Kathy Taylor says a volunteer effort is needed to get all the yards cleared of tree limbs.

More than a month after the ice storm, there are still some yards filled with limbs, and no sign of cleanup work. The city wants to identify homes where the occupants might not be able to handle the job because it's important to get the limbs out to the curb before the trucks come through.

"We'd really like to challenge Tulsa to reach out to their neighbors who might need help and if they don't know anybody, trust me we know plenty," said Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The ice storm left many people with a mountain of limbs they couldn't move, so the mayor mobilized the Tulsa Fire Department to help, but they already have a long waiting list.

Many of the charity groups that worked on debris or provided financial help have now run out of money or run short of volunteers.

  • Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief continues to clear limbs, but with a backlog already, is taking no more requests for help
  • Catholic Charities helped 1,000 families with food baskets and still has money available to help more families
  • The Red Cross sheltered 2,000 people during the power outage, but now figures the needs they can fill have been met
  • Operation Power Up paid for electrical repairs to 4,400 homes, but now the program has ended
  • The Salvation Army helped 907 families with financial assistance, but now is out of money
  • Team Relief was helping clear limbs, but now is taking two weeks off to reassess their waiting list
  • Tulsa County Social Services distributed $30,000 in food vouchers, but now is out of money

The trucks hauling away the debris are on the first pass, and they'll return to every street two more times. For the people who can't move the limbs that's more time to call for help. The Mayor's Action Center is at 596-2100.

At this point, they are only taking names and a description of the problem and can't really give people an estimate on when someone will be out to help.