National Guard members aid East Ridge storm victims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

National Guard members aid East Ridge storm victims

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EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB)  --  National Guard Airmen from Georgia, Kentucky even Washington D.C. arrived in the Tennessee Valley Friday to help victims of the April 27th tornadoes.

About 300 homes and businesses in East Ridge were damaged last week.  This weekend a crew of 15 servicemen hopes to help as many as 30 families pick up the pieces.

The group is lead by the same couple that helped East Ridge flood victims in 2009.  They'll spend the weekend helping uninsured victims and the elderly any way they can.

Bobbie Citty says her nerves still haven't recovered from the April 27th storms.

"The sound of the storm is something you'll never forget," she says. 

Citty's husband was born in their historic East Ridge home, she raised her family there.  Last week the family watched a 100-year-old oak tree in their front yard crash through the living room.

"I hope we never have to go through something like that again," she says. 

A warm hug and the sight of help brought tears to the East Ridge native's eyes Friday.  Bobbie Citty's waited a week to see the tree branches cleared out of her yard.

Reporter: Sounds like people have been good to you? 

Citty: Yes, they have.  They really have. 

Citty's East Ridge home is the first stop for the group of 10 servicemen Friday. They got up in the wee hours of the morning driving to the Tennessee Valley, from Georgia, Kentucky and Washington D.C.

"Cutting logs, clearing debris and just helping out the families in need," she says. 

35 East Ridge homes suffered major damage last week.  The group hopes to hit as many of those as possible by Sunday, focusing on the uninsured and elderly.  Those who need help the most.

"Make sure they get their lives back together," she Staff Sgt. James Aldredge.  "Considering what they just went through." 

"I was surprised and very grateful," says Citty.  "I'm very grateful, but I know there's other people that need help very badly as well."

Five more servicemen will join the group Saturday.  If you live in East Ridge and would like the group to visit your home contact East Ridge Neighborhood Services at 423-867-7711.

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