Virginia tornado victims get cleanup help from Army

GLADE SPRING, Va. (AP) — The residents of this southwest Virginia, hit hard by a tornado in late April, received a big assist this weekend from the U.S. Army Reserve and others.

More than 100 members of the Reserves' 760th Engineer Corps based in Marion spent Saturday morning helping Glade Spring residents. The cleared tons of trees as part of a clean-up that was to continue on Sunday.

Help also arrived from hundreds of miles away. A Winchester radio personality, Brian Scott, arrived with a truck filled with 10,000 pounds of food, bottled water, paper supplies and other items.

Scott's WTRM-FM listeners donated the assistance.

"Winchester isn't anywhere near Glade Spring, it's almost 300 miles away," Scott told the Bristol Herald Courier. "But even though we're nearly 300 miles away, we're still all Virginians. And Virginians help each other. That's all the reason we needed to be here."

Scott also brought a $2,162 check for the Washington County Red Cross.

As she watched the supplies emerge from a truck, Glade Spring volunteer firefighter Mary Louthian said, "It makes me want to cry."

"There are so many people in this town, just trying to get back to living normal life again. Something like this can put them one step closer to getting back to that," Louthian said.

The outpouring of support came one week after Gov. Bob McDonnell said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected assistance for the community.

Four people were killed in Washington County when the April 28 tornado swept through southwest Virginia, destroying numerous buildings and injuring 50 people.

Lt. Christina Teagarden, who led the 760th Engineer Corps' work in Glade Spring, said the 139-member unit considered it "a real duty and honor" to help town officials.

"We feel really good about getting to provide a valuable service for fellow citizens in a real time of need," Teagarden said. "Plus, this is what we do as engineers, we find ways to improve sites, whether it's securing and clearing them or building them."


Information from: Bristol Herald Courier,