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Tennessee Guard Clears Debris in Putnam County

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 12:52pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Starting on March 10, Soldiers and Airmen from the Tennessee National Guard began assisting Putnam County with cleaning up massive amounts of debris, damaged property, and trash left in the wake of an EF-4 tornado that struck the area in the early morning hours of March 3.

More than 70 guardsmen with 21 dump trucks and other engineering equipment are working hard to remove debris and trash piled along roadways by citizens and volunteers eager to begin the process of rebuilding.   

“We’re here to do whatever is needed to help those in Cookeville and Putnam County,” said 2nd Lt. Timothy Grissom, a platoon leader with the 212th Engineer Company. “They suffered a lot of damage and all of my soldiers are eager to help.”

To assist with the clean-up, trained drivers and engineers from multiple units across the state have volunteered. Vehicles, drivers, and engineers from the 230th Engineer Battalion in Trenton, 212th Engineer Company in Paris, 913th Engineer Company in Union City, 255th Engineer Detachment in Tennessee Ridge, 890th Sapper Company from Huntington, and a team of airmen from Knoxville’s 134th Civil Engineering Squadron are all assisting in Tornado relief efforts in Putnam County.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the damage that has been done here,” said Grissom. “I’m just glad I can be here to support those affected.”

For more information, please contact the Tennessee Military Department’s Joint Strategic Communications Office at 615-313-0633.

Tennessee Guard Soldier in uniform with orange construction hat using chainsaw to cut a tree into sections

A Tennessee Air National Guardsmen with the 134th Air Refueling Wing uses a chainsaw March 10, in Cookeville, as part of a debris clearing operation. Both Air and Army National Guardsmen are conducting multiple operations throughout the state to aid in disaster relief efforts, after tornadoes ravaged central Tennessee overnight, March 2. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro)

Soldiers clearing debris from a roadway

Airmen with the 134th Refueling wing, and Soldiers with the 194th Engineer Brigade work together to clear debris March 10, in a heavily impacted area of Cookeville. Both Air and Army National Guardsmen are conducting multiple operations throughout the state to aid in disaster relief efforts, after tornadoes ravaged central Tennessee overnight, March 2. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro)