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Pitching In While Digging Out in Gifford
GIFFORD-- "When this community was born we were helping each other, and we're going to continue to help each other."
Derin Scott's house is destroyed. When the tornado struck Gifford Sunday afternoon, it swept away his home. With nothing to clean up, Derin turned his attention elsewhere.
"This is my community, and I want to do everything I can to help out my fellow people around here because they are what keeps the lifeblood around here."
It's a common story in the village of 1,000 people. Jean Hogan's house on the south edge of town was spared, though she is without water and power. She's helping look after those who may have been overlooked. "People have a hard time with little kittens that are lost and dogs that are running, we're just trying to round them up. Keeping a list of who's missing, who they belong to, and try and get them back to their owners."
With trucks, trailers, machinery, and utility vehicles crowding Gifford, keeping the streets clear has become a challenge, complicated by the overwhelming number of people trying to help. Scott says, "They're trying to keep them in a flow. It worked out very well today. There were plenty of volunteers to be where they needed to be. The streets were very chaotic still, but at least the power crews came in and got some poles dug, so that helps out a lot."
Jean says she's not surprised by the response. If they weren't close before the tornado, the people of Gifford are now. "I think we're one big family here. It's a wonderful, warm feeling. Some of us aren't particularly close with our neighbors but if they need us we're right there."
Adam Rife reporting