Volunteers tackle southwest Ohio tornado cleanup

MOSCOW, Ohio - Residents are assessing damage and cleaning up debris after five tornadoes hit southwest Ohio on Friday.  The National Weather Service said the Ohio village of Moscow felt the fury of an EF3 tornado with winds of about 160 mph. It was the strongest among the five twisters to hit the state Friday, stretching 20 miles in length and a-quarter mile wide.

Dozens of homes have been destroyed, but that hasn't stopped residents of neighboring towns from coming out and lending a helping hand.

"A lot of hurting people out here, so we decided to have worship service out here this morning," said Pastor Ralph Ollendick. He brought 100 people from his River of Life congregation to this special service.

"We're helping family that's in town. She needs all the help she can get," said Jessica Moeller. She and her children came to help her mother-in-law.

Don Trimble of nearby Bethel, Ohio was here to help friends. "Everybody's joining together, just trying to get their lives back to normal, as soon as they can," said Trimble.

From family and friends, to total strangers, hundreds of volunteers descended on the tiny town. Together, they're doing everything they can to help more than 200 people who are now homeless.

See the damage left behind by the devastating twisters: http://on.wews.com/yHPDyV

Washington County Fire Chief Arthur Owens said the outpouring of support has been tremendous.

"We've had tons of people come here to volunteer. You can look around here today and see multiple tents set up with food. We've had plenty of food donations. We've had companies come in with tarps, nails, hammers, things of that nature that we passed out to the village. The phone calls are non-stop with people wanting to volunteer their services. It's been a great collaborative."

Generous hearts were drawn to pick up the abundance of debris. Meanwhile other Good Samaritans passed out plenty of food to feed the hungry.

"We've got pop, water and they've got sandwiches behind us," one volunteer yelled from the back up of a pickup truck.

"We're doing mostly mass feeding today and trying to provide the things that people need, like tarps and cleanup kits, just anything to help the people out," said Chuck Lynch, an American Red Cross team leader.

The Boys and Girls Club of neighboring New Richmond, Ohio is collecting and distributing some of the bare necessities that were swept away by strong winds.

"It's important because these are the things that everybody's lost: Their clothes, their food, their shelter," said Katie Waitman, volunteer. "It's important. People need to be clean to be able to go back to work and get their lives back in order."

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