Volunteers help McMinn Co. residents rebuild following EF2 torna - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Volunteers help McMinn Co. residents rebuild following EF2 tornado

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WBIR) -

More than two months after An EF2 tornado tore through McMinn County, volunteers are helping residents continue to pick up the pieces. 

The late November storm damaged hundreds of buildings, mainly in Athens, Tennessee. But the area didn't receive any federal aid to help with the cleanup process. 

Now residents are relying on the help of local volunteers, dozens of which came out Saturday to help. Those volunteers include Englewood Police Officer Tabitha Standridge and her son, Matthew, 7, who want to help those residents have a place that feels like home. 

“We’re working hard trying to get this stuff in the dumpster and trying to help these families get their homes back,” Matthew said.

Standridge said she's happy her son is learning the importance of giving back. 

"Just to help in any way we can," she said, "These people lost everything."

Mayor John Gentry estimates over 400 structures were destroyed in the tornado, and yet the county won't see any federal assistance. Governor Bill Halsam applied the county for assistance, but it did not meet requirements to be determine a federal disaster area. 

“We’re doing the only thing we know to do. Set in and help out,” Gentry said. 

Over 60 volunteers helped with the organized cleanup, despite the rain. Still, there is plenty of work to do. The county will hold another organized cleanup on Saturday, March 4. If you would like to help out, you can meet at the Eureka Trailhead off of State Highway 307 around.

WBIR contributed to this story

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