UPDATE: Sequatchie Co. still cleaning up after November tornado - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Sequatchie Co. still cleaning up after November tornado

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WHITWELL, TN (WRCB) -

Almost four months later, Sequatchie County is still recovering from the November tornado.

On Saturday, February 25, the county held its sixth coordinated cleanup day.

About 10 volunteers helped fill trash bags with debris from fields and surrounding homes. They also cut down and removed a cluster of trees.

"When you look at all the devastation it would've been so much worse but when you've got this many trees down it's going to take a long, long time," said organizer, Melissa Mackey. 

One farmer's livestock had to be fenced up to keep them away fromthree-month-oldh old debris. Trees and limbs blocking a water run-off creek have been an issue for them as well. 

"With the creek being blocked this is how the cows get water and if we don't clear that creek it could create some major problems for him as time goes on in our spring rains come around," said Mackey. 

The Southend Volunteer Fire Chief and his crew also took part in the widespread clean-up. 

"We got several military trucks that we use for brush trucks and some of our members have bobcats and stuff so we brought that and we're going to use that to get that out of the creek," said Chief Ken Herron. "I just enjoy helping my community and trying to do the best we can."

The community has worked to return to normalcy for months.

The tornado has displaced a dozen families, destroyed seven homes and caused major structural damage to another five, rendering them uninhabitable. An additional 14 homes experienced some sort of minor damage, missing shingles or cracked windows, including farming land. 

But it wasn't enough to get any federal assistance. 

"The way I understand it is agriculture is counted separately from residential and as bad as it is, and it's horrible for us, and it's horrible for a lot of other counties too. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough," said Mackey. "Yes, a lot of these family should really use the help, but in the grand scheme of things, and I think all of the other counties that have been affected would say the same thing; we got this."

Mackey said though there won't be any free government aid, volunteers are sticking to their promise of doing whatever they can to help rebuild.

"We're going to get it taken care of. It may take time, but you know what that's fine. We're going to get there. We're going to get it done."

For more information on volunteering, please contact Melissa at 423-447-8275 or tnmelmack@yahoo.com.

McMinn County is looking for volunteers to help clean tornado damage as well. 

Volunteers are asked to meet on March 4th at 8:30 a.m. on Eureka Trail. 

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