Storm cleanup continues in Bessemer

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Numerous volunteers made their way to Bessemer today to help with storm cleanup after Monday’s tornado hit west Jefferson County.

Trees, branches, and shingles were just some of the things still scattered across yards along Memorial Drive.

Brianna Gattuso and Tori Bigham were just a couple of the volunteers hoping to make a difference on Saturday.

“They need help after the storm,” Bigham said. “Their houses are messed up, so we felt like we could help.”

“It’s because of God that these people are here,” said Angela Murray, who lives on Memorial Drive. “Chills just go all the way through you because you know the goodness of the Lord.”

Bigham is able to volunteer because of the efforts of so many other organizations and volunteers put together by Heather Turney with the Jefferson County VOAD and Lutheran Ministries of Alabama. She is the one who brings volunteers and those in need together throughout Jefferson County after a storm.

At the Bessemer Volunteer Reception Center, Hands On Birmingham is registering volunteers. Adventist Disaster Services is providing gloves, rakes, and buckets for use in the field. The Salvation Army is feeding and hydrating victims and volunteers alike.

On the civic side, the EMA is coordinating all services available to the people of Bessemer. The city’s public works department is working extended hours to remove trees and debris. The police department is providing an escort for all volunteers riding MAX buses to and from the affected areas. And all of this is headquartered at the Bessemer Fire Department.

The city of Bessemer is very grateful to have all these volunteers at their service.

“What you’re seeing today is that people care, ” Mayor’s Assistant Toraine Norris said. “They’re reaching out and we’re doing our best to help the residents here in the city of Bessemer.”

If you would like to volunteer or are in need of services in Jefferson County, you are asked to visit http://www.lmal.org. Once there, select either “Assistance Request” or “Volunteer Registration” from the top menu. All information submitted through the website goes to the Jefferson County VOAD and contact will be made with those who visited the site.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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