Neighbors banding together for tornado recovery in Roland - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Neighbors banding together for tornado recovery in Roland

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ROLAND (KATV) - Several homes have been condemned, trees are still down everywhere in the Sommerset Subdivision – another Pulaski County community hit by Sunday’s EF-4 tornado.  The damage wasn’t great enough to warrant a Red Cross response, but the close-knit neighborhood said they had to do something – so they did.

Many roofs were ripped off, some had floors leveled, but the biggest issue is trees for the people on Sommerset Court.  It requires backhoes, chainsaws and a crew of volunteers to tackle it all.  Even though many of the folks who live there have homeowner’s insurance – that insurance doesn’t cover everything.

“The insurance covers removal if it’s on the house or fences,” said Tracey Jones.  “But like you said we have just acres and acres of trees that are down.”

Jones has been organizing the volunteer efforts in the neighborhood.

“We’re blessed to have the people that we’ve got doing what they’re doing,” said Jones, mentioning dozens of volunteers from churches, schools and fire departments helping with tree removal.

But you have to take care of those volunteers, and that’s where Lisa Gentry comes in – they call her the general.

“Monday morning we had a slew of people volunteering and I felt like I needed to feed them,” said Gentry, while packing a lunch for a volunteer fireman.

Gentry is doing it all out of her garage.  She and the neighborhood wives banded together to cook and gather food.

“You forget about your neighbor sometimes and this is the kind of stuff that brings us back together and brings the community together,” said Gentry.

Much of the damage in West Pulaski County is tree damage and there is a request for people to help out with chainsaws and manpower again this weekend.  Volunteers are asked to go to the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Ferndale to check in, so they can send people to the right places.