Volunteers speeding up cleanup process after tornadoes

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. An ideal end of summer project should be installing a fire pit in the backyard, perfecting a man-cave, or tidying up the garden prior to the quick change of seasons. Instead, chainsaws can be heard echoing throughout neighborhoods, trucks are littered on the roadways, and people are trying to move trees and downed powerlines into safer areas. If you look down some streets, you will realize there are some tasks that require a lot of resources and manpower. Among the contractors and city workers chipping away at the damage, a group of volunteers helped put a large dent in the cleanup efforts. Mayor Paul TenHaken gathered those volunteers in the parking lot of Shalom Christian Reformed Church and was elated to see so many people, and handy vehicles, ready to help Thursday afternoon.

“I’m still seeing a lot of needs around the city,” Mayor TenHaken said. “Some of them are really extensive, but others just have branches at the end of people’s streets.”

People have asked city leaders why they are not using the same resources used during the ice storm, but after spending eleven million dollars to clear the ice from the city, TenHaken felt there was a better way to proceed.

As a Sioux Falls resident, he is privy to a volunteer effort that could significantly impact the cleanup process independently. Amid the volunteer efforts, contractors and city crews were seen working just as hard to restore normalcy to some very hard to recognize areas in Sioux Falls. There cannot be enough help to clean up the damage sustained by the severe weather and it will certainly continue for quite a while.