Volunteers help residents clean up mess left behind

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Volunteers are helping clean up the mess Tuesday’s tornado left behind.

The debris that was once scattered across yards and sidewalks is piling up in a dumpster along Zachery Lane in the Bent Wood subdivision.

The president of the Homeowner’s Association said it normally takes a week to get the right permits to have a dumpster in a neighborhood, but he said the City of Plainfield rushed the permit process along in order get the clean up effort started sooner.

But not every neighborhood is dealing with debris that a person can pick up with their hands.

Tree remover Steve Vondersaar knows he has a lot of work ahead of him as he surveyed a yard filled with trees that were knocked down.

“A hollow tree, I would expect that over time with the weight and the hollow tree. But being turned right out of the ground is pretty amazing,” he said.

Vondersaar is talking about the massive oak trees that literally didn’t stand a chance when Tuesdays tornado swirled through. The 90+ mile per hour winds whipped by the dead trees, but those with leaves were uprooted.

“Just the leverage from the wind pulling on the leaves, the wind catching the leaves on the higher trees. It’s all leverage just pulling them over,” he said.

Neighbors say the tornado started near the yard, but it continued northeast where it hit several homes in the Bent Wood subdivision. That’s where about 20 volunteers began helping homeowners clean up their yards.

“It’s just, it’s a part of who we are, not only as City Reach International but also as a church,” said pastor Jon Lowe of Church on the Rock in Brownsburg,

The volunteers are part of a youth ministry that happened to be in town, helping his church with community projects. When the storms hit, they knew fixing up the Bent Wood neighborhood would be a priority.

“It was just second nature for us to transition and shift when this happened and say hey, let’s go be a part of that,” he said.

Their selfless act wasn’t lost on homeowner David Daniels, who had part of his roof ripped off and branches scattered across his yard.

“It basically sets my mind at ease that my family and my neighbors are getting taken care of and just having that youthful energy and outlook that the storms over and it’s a new day,” Daniels said.

The volunteers went house to house from 2:00pm-5:30pm. They plan on coming back Thursday.

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