Hundreds Show Up to Help Brookport
By Matt McClain
METROPOLIS, IL - It was a heartening scene to see hundreds of volunteers start show up by the van load at a closed down truck stop near the I-24 Metropolis exit. They were there to help the victims of Brookport and Massac County after an EF-3 tornado ripped apart the town on Sunday. This is the first day that volunteers are being allowed to help with cleanup efforts.
If you are planning to volunteer, you'll need to bring an I.D. with you before being given an armband to wear. Tetanus shots are being provided by the health department.
Officials say you will not be able to simply volunteer on your own due to the extensive damage. You will need to register in order to get past the police checkpoints. As volunteers are registering, they are being told to be safe and are being asked not to take pictures of the devastation, in order to be respectful to the victims.
Illinois State Police says a curfew will remain in effect from 6 pm to 6 am, and the bridge leading from downtown Paducah into downtown Brookport remains closed to one way traffic out of Brookport until further notice. Police checkpoints remain in place at other locations as crews try to get things back to normal.
Three people were killed Sunday afternoon and more than two dozen injured in Brookport by what the National Weather Service says was an EF-3 tornado, with 145 mph winds that was on the ground for 42 miles and nearly an hour of time. It was up to 1,500 feet wide at times, and damaged a lot of real estate in its path in both Kentucky and Illinois.
If you are unable to volunteer, but would like to help the tornado victims, you're being encouraged to leave a monetary donation. You can click on the link below that will allow you do leave your tax deductible donation online, and a list of banks that are accepting donations as well.
On the Net: Brookport Unionville Disaster Relief Site