Adairsville Mayor Evan King expressed his gratitude Monday night as volunteers continued to help the tornado-stricken residents.
“There’s no way we could have gotten this done without volunteers,” King said of the cleanup effort. “I don’t have the words to express our gratitude to the volunteers.”
Adairsville leaders have learned the tornado-stricken city will not be eligible for federal aid, but volunteers are doing their part to put the city back together.
WSB-TV reports a Bartow County woman injured during that tornado died on Monday morning, according to family members.
A tree crushed Brenda Mulkey while she was in the kitchen of her Adairsville home.
Federal Emergency Management guidelines require that an area sustain $12 million in uninsured damage before receiving disaster relief, according to Ken Davis, a spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
On Saturday, 1,600 people showed up at the Adairsville Church of God to help clean up debris, according to church pastor Ken Coomer, who is leading the volunteer effort. On Sunday, 560 people came to help.
“I think the community took that opportunity to say we are going to make a difference,” Coomer said.
Since many of the Adairsville businesses and homes damaged or destroyed were insured, the city does not meet the FEMA guidelines.
The volunteer efforts have not slowed down since the tornado blew threw town last Wednesday.
But there are still needs, Coomer said.
“First and foremost, we need workers,” he said. “We are almost complete with the debris phase.”
The tornado left many people with nothing, Coomer said. One local woman, who was a foster mother, had just paid off her mobile home. It was destroyed by the storm.
Next week, Coomer said, they will be looking for people with skill sets to help repair the 97 structures that are more than 50 percent damaged.
The American Red Cross has two shelters open that are also serving as caseworker centers for families in need. Residents who cannot live in their homes are urged to call to set up an appointment to meet with a caseworker or to simply drop by a Red Cross center.
Residents whose damaged homes are inhabitable but have other needs are asked to call and arrange to speak with a Red Cross caseworker. The phone number for the call center is 404-870-4440, and the call center is available from noon to 8 p.m. daily until further notice.
Other groups have been pitching in to help. Shorter University’s women’s lacrosse team visited the area to help over the weekend.
Darlington School in Rome is also hosting a bottled water drive this week to benefit victims in Adairsville and Calhoun. Donations can be dropped off at the Yancey Suite patio at the Huffman Athletic Center, the Morgan Pavilion at Thatcher Hall (Middle School), or the Lower School Gym by the end of the week. These donations will be delivered on Saturday.
Rome News-Tribune Associated Editor Doug Walker and Staff Writer Kim Sloan contributed to this reports.