Volunteer groups help Arabi tornado victims recover

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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ARABI (WVUE) - Arabi resident David Paul Crawford woke up to a bright and sunny Thursday after a round of storms passed over his tornado-torn neighborhood overnight.

“There was really no water that got into the house last night,” Crawford said.

That’s because a group of volunteers from the White Dove Fellowship Church near his home managed to get tarps on his roof as the weather was picking up in the evening.

“During the rain and the wind, they were up there doing that,” he said.

The church’s actions saved furniture, boxes, and whatever else was salvageable from last week’s EF-3 tornado.

And a volunteer group with the Home Depot Foundation spent Thursday morning moving out what was good and threw out the rest.

“He’s running around trying to do stuff and we’re like no just sit back and relax. That’s what we are here for, to provide,” District Community Captain Katrina Tindal said.

If it wasn’t for the team, Crawford says it would’ve taken too long to clean out his property.

“Years, maybe a good year and a half,” he said.

It’s been a massive effort of groups, both local and national, helping to feed, clean up and repair the areas hardest hit by the tornado.

Locals say they enjoy seeing and receiving the generosity.

“(They’re) like little mice cleaning up everything. Doing an amazing job,” Crawford said.

Some groups like the Home Depot Foundation are made up of local volunteers, eager to help their neighbors out after the devastation.

“We are all used to this. It’s never a problem to jump in and assist when we can,” Tindal said.

It’s easy to see how volunteers are helping the community with manpower but they say what’s even more important is how they are helping victims emotionally.

“Whatever we do, it’s a family thing. It’s all good. We are here to take care of the homeowner,” Tindal said.

And those on the receiving end of the generosity say they feel like their lives are going back to normal.

“It makes it a lot easier to come back once it’s cleaned up,” Crawford said.

People in need of help cleaning up their property after the tornado can contact Crisis Cleanup to get connected to local groups providing aid.

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