UT student helps with tornado cleanup | UToledo News

Categories

Archives

Resources

Categories

Archives

Resources

UT student helps with tornado cleanup

Nursing student Courtney Clement took this photo of UT student Katie Towns, left, and Lourdes College student Chelsea Aiello cleaning up in Genoa.

Nursing student Courtney Clement took this photo of UT student Katie Towns, left, and Lourdes College student Chelsea Aiello cleaning up in Genoa.

On the morning after thunderstorms and tornadoes swept through northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, Courtney Clement and a friend drove out to see the aftermath.

A University of Toledo nursing student and three-time veteran of alternative spring break trips, Clement had seen the destruction Hurricane Katrina had brought to the Gulf Coast. As she pulled up to Lake High School, she found the scene unsettlingly familiar.

“You could see the destruction from the road as we drove up,” she said. “There was debris everywhere. It reminded me of the trips we’ve made to Mississippi to help clean up after the hurricane.”

Turning to social media and text messages, Clement rounded up a group of eight students to help clean up the home of a neighbor of one of her friends in Genoa.

“We raked and picked up debris. We looked for valuables or items that could be recovered,” she said. “At the house we were at, the kitchen was in the neighbor’s yard. The bathroom was in another neighbor’s house.”

Clement said the path of the tornado is easy to follow, though why some homes were leveled and others left largely unscathed is not. The deck of the leveled home they worked on was virtually untouched, she said.

A group is planning to go back tomorrow, said Clement, who is planning her help around her continuing nursing clinical education. Other students are planning trips throughout the week. On Sunday, Clement and others are planning to have 100 people travel to Genoa to help clean up.

Nursing student Courtney Clement also took this photo of tiles recovered during cleanup efforts.

Nursing student Courtney Clement also took this photo of tiles recovered during cleanup efforts.

“I’m basically reaching out to everyone I can on Facebook, by e-mail, by text message,” she said. “The people we’ve helped have all been so appreciative. I think I might have been more hesitant in their place, but we’ve been welcomed with open arms.”

Clement said beyond just cleaning up homes for rebuilding, acres of fields remain where tornados have strewn parts of homes and personal items.

“There’s no way I could look at all that has happened and not do anything, just turn around and drive away,” she said. “[Helping is] in my blood.”

Clement said those interested in helping can visit a new Project Help the Tornado Victims Facebook page at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127136270640435&ref=search.

More information about volunteering or donating to assist the victims of the June 6 storm is available here.

3 responses to “UT student helps with tornado cleanup”

  1. Stephanie Gurgol says:

    I expect nothing less from Courtney. Her efforts not only with this project, but also with her day to day attitude and generosity, are nothing short of inspiring. Keep up the good work, Court! My thoughts and prayers to those affected by the tornado.

  2. Charlene Dangler says:

    Oh goodness, Courtney. There are so many people who are lucky enough to know you (including myself).
    I work in Cleveland Thursday and Friday this week, but I’ll be back in Toledo Friday evening and this weekend. Please let me know about clean-up times! I’ll go with you either (or both) days! (PS I joined the Facebook thing and invited people)

  3. Toni Kinner says:

    I am a trained Red Cross volunteer. This was the first disaster I was able to help at.
    I was in Millbury on Main Street. on Tuesday. Mostly, we were making sure the volunteers and victims had plenty of food and water, supplies for the clean-up effort, first aid, etc. The church was collecting pic tures and other personal items found in the fields, woods, creek, and yards. They were being sorted by people who knows the residents of Millbury. It was a never-ending, painful job for them. Volunteers came from mioles around; it was so good to see the generousity of people and businesses who donated supplies.
    I am also a member of CERT. On Thursday and Friday, I went with other CERT members help clean-up other areas. Thursday, we were at Wellingrton Farm moving debris to the street and picking out debris from wheat fields. Then, Friday, we were at a horse farm in Lucas County clearing debris from the yard, coral, etc. There are still at least 28 other houses in Lucas County trhat still need help. I will probably be back out there between my summer classes. Toni