Volunteers fuel Dundee recoveryWritten by Mary Petrides and Betsy Woodruff | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In Dundee, Mich., 10 people are recovering from injuries caused by the tornado that touched down in the region early June 6.
Officials said Dundee was hit hard, with winds blowing at more than 100 miles per hour. More than 200 electrical poles were destroyed.
The tornado produced 772 power outages in Dundee township and 1,800 in the surrounding village. Molly Luempert-Coy, a regional manager for DTE Energy, said the company hopes to fix several hundred of the outages in the township by June 7, since it is working to restore a main power circuit that goes through the area.
The company also repaired 40 poles the tornado snapped along M-50.
“That was just amazing, to get it done in that time frame,” Luempert-Coy said.
Dundee Baptist Church announced the church had electricity, and it quickly became the hub of volunteer efforts. At 2 p.m. June 7, 17 leaders from the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Michigan Department of Human Services and other groups met to assess damages and pool resources.
After the meeting, attendees said 15 Dundee houses were destroyed, 304 had minor damage and 162 had major damage.
“Most of us haven’t gotten too much sleep,” said Laura Shultz, chief executive officer of Monroe County Red Cross.
Red Cross and Salvation Army leaders said they would be on site at least until the power is back on.
Salvation Army has three mobile canteens which can be driven around the area or stationed to pass out food and water to victims and volunteers.
Win Williams, the Michigan state director for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, said his crew is focusing on clearing trees out of people’s yards. Many of the people they helped are unable to clear their yards on their own because of medical disabilities and cannot afford to hire anyone else to remove debris from around their homes.
He said upon offering to help, crew members have been told several times, “Well, I don’t have the money.” When they told tornado victims that they wanted to help them for free, their faces were flooded with relief and some grew misty-eyed.
“They need to feel comfortable again,” Williams said. “They were scared to death.”
From 1 to 5 p.m. June 8, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross will be at the Dundee Baptist Church to offer aid to storm victims.