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Tornado Victims Calling out Pulaski County
WEST PULASKI COUNTY, AR - A small community in Pulaski County is trying to rebound from last month's storms. An EF-3 tornado destroyed several homes on the county's west side.
Clean-up work continues, but many in this community are asking for more help. Assistance is needed, not from volunteers but from the county.
"We need help, I thought that's what the taxes are for," said Joel Martin, who lost his home in the twister. "I can't do this by myself, even if I had all my neighbors and we all pitched in, there's just no possible way we can do all of this ourselves."
"It is frankly a huge disaster for all of us," adds Jeanne Williamson, who also had damage on her property.
A major need is getting rid of trash. Two dumpsters have been set up in the area, one is overflowing.
"We need more dumpsters or we need them to come and empty it more often," said Williamson.
"I can't build a house here now, there's too much stuff around here," added Martin.
Pulaski County Department of Emergency Management Director Andy Traffanstedt said there is a problem getting dumpsters closer to the homes.
"We cannot get on private property with county vehicles," he explained. "We are trying to help them as much as we can, there are some limits of what we can and can't do."
It's an answer that just won't work for some people deep in the disaster area, with piles of debris too far from these dump sites.
"What are we going to do, take bucket fulls and take them down there?," asked Martin. "They don't wanna come on our private road. I don't understand it, it's too political for me. We've got to somehow pull strings to get to the big wigs and let them know. I hear President Obama is coming out, I hope he comes out here and sees this disaster."
When asked if the county could deliver dumpsters if given permission by land owners, Traffanstedt said, "That would have to be answered from someone above me."
Alan Hubbard with the Pulaski West Volunteer Fire Department agreed with the people he is trying to help, saying plenty of help from the county would go a long way in the recovery process, "We don't have dumpsters, we don't have heavy equipment, we don't have the resources we need, we are overwhelmed out here."
Hubbard also asked for education on helping those affected by the storms.