Inmates Help Cleanup Highland

HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) -- Cleanup is slow, but progress is being made across Region 8 in town's hit by the February 5th tornado.

"We're out here in Highland helping the community out try to get up some of the debris so they can get on with their lives," said Major James Hill from the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

"Regional maintenance crews are always out working to help public areas and this is a great area for them to work in," said Highland resident Joe Philips.

36 inmates from the Newport Complex are helping move mountains of rubble left behind.

"This area was hit hard and these inmates are not doing all that much.  They get out and help out and pay back the community," said Philips.

"It's devastating, so we need to get it cleaned up so we can all get back to being normal," said Highland resident Dina Shackelford.

Many residents said they've had to get back to work and haven't been able to be out helping with the cleanup and are glad the inmates are there to help.

"I'm grateful that they're able to help us and at least do something for our community," said Shackelford.

"With that many people helping out they can get a lot done really fast and the more people that can help the better for the community," said Highland resident Lindsey Bradley.

"Everywhere we've went with the inmates we always get praise for it and we want to help the communities as much as we can," said Major Hill.

The inmate workers will continue the work in Highland until the job is finished.

"We're happy we could come up here to Highland and help the mayor and all the community," said Major Hill.