Clean up continues in tornado-ravaged communities

OAK GROVE, Mo. - Two weeks after a tornado ripped through parts of Oak Grove destroying homes and properties, the cleanup continues. 

More than 70 volunteers spent the day Saturday helping rake debris, patch fences and rebuild barns. 

"There is just so much. You just drive down and there is an RV down the street that is toppled over. You just see blue tarps for a while. There’s a lot of work. There are so many trees, cars, barns, animals, they just need help,” said Lauren Levengood, who drove from Lee’s Summit to help lend a hand.

As Levengood and her family spent the day clearing out and rebuilding a barn, Gina Sebree and her friends helped clear the next-door neighbor’s lawn. 

"You hear these people’s stories,” she told 41 Action News. "He just lost his whole barn, his two vehicles, windows broken out, he can’t get his insurance to call him back. It’s hard when you’re elderly, which is why we are here.” 

Because it is difficult for small towns, like Oak Grove, to qualify for federal disaster funds donations have been pouring in. 

Different communities and businesses, for example, have donated tools and ladders to rebuild structures. Restaurants have donated food. Others, including children, have donated their time.  

“That’s what this is all about, a community coming together to rejuvenate the neighborhood,” said Roger Lake, a farmer whose barns were destroyed. "It’s a big sense of community that really brought this neighborhood together.”

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Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.

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