Volunteers Work to Clean Up Merrill After Tornado

By: Ryan Wing Email
By: Ryan Wing Email

The devastation in Merrill is still evident after a tornado roared through town a week ago.

After two days of clearing debris and trees from lawns following last Sunday's tornado, the coordinated cleanup effort is now over in Merrill.

But that doesn't mean the work is over.

"We've watched the devastation and quite honestly, when we got here, it's overwhelming. You need to help. You need to help the community. I'm glad we're here to be a part of this and give back and pay it forward. It's what everybody is doing," volunteer Karla Lodholz said.

While the devastation from the tornado was massive, the turnout to come out and help clean up the mess afterwards has been even greater.

"None of us knew each other and we're working here together. I guess that's the best testimony there is," volunteer Bill Bartling said.

It's that sense of camaraderie and community that has hundreds of volunteers banding together to help those in need.

"It did affect us because this is our community. You have to come out here. You can't just sit at home and not help your neighbors. They're out here struggling. The insurance companies aren't going to clean up this wood. these people can't get in their homes. These people have lost everything," Renata LaMarr said.

"It's amazing. There's families, there's kids, all ages are out here and everybody's bringing whatever they can and how quickly people just pull together and rally together for these people," Lodholz said.

Volunteers say the homeowners have been especially grateful for the help they have received.

More than 500 volunteers showed up on Sunday to aid in the cleanup effort.

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