Izard County Continues Storm Debris Cleanup


The Izard County storm relief effort is still a recovery effort, even almost three weeks after a tornado touched down in communities like Sage and Zion.

"The people here in Izard County, they've got a lot of pride," said Rayburn Finley, Izard Co. Judge.

Which is one of the reasons, Finley believes, many people haven't signed up yet for FEMA's Disaster Relief Aid.

FEMA was here a week ago, and now the agency's coming back to the county, according to Izard County's Office of Emergency Management, on March 1st to re-survey and get those storm victims who didn't sign up to apply for aid.

"These people that come in and do these surveys, they've gotta find out what happened and all that," said Finley.

It's waiting for federal funding, Finley says, that the county is doing right now and in the meantime, getting help from young volunteers, like Americorps Jamie McCabe, who traveled all the way from California, to learn a lesson in hope.

"Some people have lost everything they've ever known, their businesses, their homes, and despite all they've lost they're still hopeful and really overwhelmingly positive," said McCabe.

Dennis Williams has been vounteering his time from the beginning and now he's manning the central relief spot at the Izard County fairgrounds.

While canned goods and clothing are plentiful, Williams says there's something else they need, even though the amount of people coming in for help has tapered off in number.

"As far as help goes, we still need help in cleanup and debris removal," said Williams.

The tornado that touched down in Izard County killed two people and was rated an EF-4 by the National Weather Service.