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Local firefighters travel to Missouri to help tornado victims

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

Georgetown Firefighter Wade Calvert spent the morning preparing for what he says he's never seen before.

"Film and pictures can never ever do this justice, there's no way, it's just awful," said Calvert.

Calvert and three other Georgetown fire fighters are in Joplin, Missouri, where a huge tornado devastated a large portion of that city.

"The more we walk, the worse it seems to get. It's at least a six-mile path of destruction," Calvert said.

The Georgetown fire fighters are part of the search and rescue team. Their job is to sift through the piles of debris, looking for people who may be buried alive.

"It's intense, we don't want to find anyone, but if we do, we are praying they will be alive," said Calvert.

He doesn't know how long they will be there, but said, he is prepared to stay as long as he's needed.

"That's why we're here, just trying to give a helping hand anyway we can." Calvert said.

Mean time, the Lexington Chapter of the American Red Cross is also planning to send volunteers to the tornado ravaged city. A spokesman said as soon as they receive a call from their partners in Missouri, a small team of volunteers will head that way.

Which may include two of the chapter's volunteers who just returned from Alabama and Mississippi after tornadoes and flooding devastated large portions of the South.

"I saw a volunteer fire department leveled, businesses leveled, churches and houses," said Kathy Hoff.

Hoff, a retired school teacher spent two-weeks in Alabama where whole communities were wiped out by tornadoes and dozens of people were killed.

"It's still hard for me to believe what I saw in parts of Alabama, so much devastation," said Hoff.

Another volunteer, Constance Jones, 29, of Lexington spent two weeks in flood-ravaged Mississippi where entire towns were under water.

"Seeing the destination in person does not even related to seeing it on television," said Jones.

Both Jones and Hoff say they enjoy volunteering and helping people in need, and both are prepared to head for Joplin, Missouri should the call come.

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