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News from Putnam County, Tennessee, in the aftermath of the Super Tuesday Tornado:
In the early hours of Tuesday, March 3rd many lives were changed in Tennessee. Areas of Putnam County and the City of Cookeville were the hardest hit. Emergency responders worked in the dark and rain trying to rescue those they could find, secure the area, and prepare for what would be seen at daybreak. No one knew what it would look like, but the result of the EF4, now officially known as the “Super Tuesday Tornado”, was worse than ever imagined.
As of this writing, the statistics are: 19 Dead, 88 injured, 500 structures damaged - with 32 of these being commercial operations. There were 97 structures completely destroyed. As we all know, statistics are just part of the story. The emotional damage can outweigh the physical and the scars can be deeper and last longer. There is the heart ripping grief of losing family, relatives, loved ones and friends. Survivors Remorse is real. And, PTSD is a fact of life now for many in the community.
But only in the deepest and darkest of times does the true light of hope shine through. The response from the community, the State, and the nation was a resounding “where do we go to help and when can we start”. Due to the tremendous response, a Volunteer Command Center was established at the Putnam County Fairgrounds to coordinate all efforts between survivors, VOADs, groups, contractors, and individuals. Shelters were opened. Churches and County facilities became donation sites for clothes, supplies, food, appliances, and furniture. Logistics were put in place for equipment, food, and transportation for the outpouring of volunteers who came to help this community. On Friday, March 6th, less than 90 hours after the destruction, President Trump came to survey the damage and offer his support. The President had nothing but praise for the tremendous volunteer effort.
On Saturday March 7th, Mike and Tim with the Fellowship of Christian Farmers International pulled onto the Putnam County Fairgrounds with a rolling bunkhouse and a shower facility. They were returning from deployment in Florida where help was provided to the Hurricane Michael relief effort, and the timing was just right for a stop in Cookeville. “What a blessing this is for us! The assistance the FCFI team provides in so many ways is greatly appreciated by all in the community”, stated Kevin Tucker – Putnam County Emergency Management Agency Volunteer Director. “We know not all things are good, but as we are promised in Romans 8:28 all things work together for good. We will continue this effort to bring glory to God thru the tragedy. We truly appreciate FCFI and all they are bringing to our community”
Pictured next to the FCFI motorhome are Kevin Burgess, Kevin Tucker, Randy Adams, and Matt Zemble. ...
The purpose of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers (FCFI) is to build, maintain, and strengthen faith in God for the farmer, the farm family, and the farming industry through presenting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Fellowship was formed in August of 1985 in San Antonio, Texas, during the American Soybean Association EXPO when a group of farmers met together to discuss the need for an organized Christian fellowship of the farming industry. It was felt by those in attendance that farmers and agri-business are in an occupation that is burdened with stress. Therefore, we need to build each other up by sharing our needs in prayer and putting an emphasis on Christian fellowship. Continue Reading →