Neighbors helping neighbors to repair devastated neighborhood


Posted on April 29, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

A neighborhood in West Pulaski County, Ark., is cleaning up from deadly tornadoes over the weekend.

The storms damaged half the homes in Sommerset Estates.

In this case, the clean-up is neighbor helping neighbor.

Some of these volunteers actually travel the country to work on natural disaster repairs. But they say this has been their hardest job because it's right in their backyard.

Rural West Pulaski County was a beehive of activity Tuesday.

The area, believed to be where Sunday’s tornado began, sat somewhere between still accepting the destruction and pushing past it.

“It’s really devastating, but we’re also really blessed because our area had no fatalities and no injuries, just a lot of extensive property damage,” said tornado victim Charlie Conklin.

In Sommerset Estates, volunteers from Little Rock trained in tornado cleanup had the area in recovery mode.

Their tools included their hands, equipment and their hearts.

“We know what people are going through and how they feel, so it just hurts your heart to see people that are devastated,” said Harold Sutton of the Rock Creek Disaster Relief Unit.

They say though the job was harder because the help was for neighbors, they know the work is appreciated.

“I guarantee you they’re the happy to see us,” Sutton said. “They’re elated. They’re joyful. That’s all you expect.

As for homeowners, the help is something they weren't surprised by one bit.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Conklin said. “People helping people.”

The group expects 25 to 30 more volunteers because people are asking off of work just to lend a hand in their community.