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NEWS | March 12, 2020

Tennessee National Guard clears debris from tornado

By Lt. Col. Darrin Haas Tennessee National Guard

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Soldiers and Airmen from the Tennessee National Guard are helping local officials clean up massive amounts of debris, damaged property and trash left in the wake of an EF-4 tornado that struck the area early March 3.

More than 70 members of the Guard with 21 dump trucks and other engineering equipment are removing debris and trash piled along roadways by citizens and volunteers eager to begin the process of rebuilding.

“We’re here to do whatever is needed to help those in Cookeville and Putnam County,” said 2nd Lt. Timothy Grissom, a platoon leader with the 212th Engineer Company. “They suffered a lot of damage and all of my Soldiers are eager to help.”

To assist with the clean-up, trained drivers and engineers from multiple units across the state have volunteered. Vehicles, drivers, and engineers from the 230th Engineer Battalion in Trenton, 212th Engineer Company in Paris, 913th Engineer Company in Union City, 255th Engineer Detachment in Tennessee Ridge, 890th Sapper Company from Huntington, and a team of Airmen from Knoxville’s 134th Civil Engineering Squadron, are all assisting in tornado relief efforts in Putnam County.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the damage that has been done here,” said Grissom. “I’m just glad I can be here to support those affected.”