Volunteers helping families clean up after tornado in Stokes County

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Groups of volunteers are helping families in Stokes County clean up after a tornado touched down there Wednesday night.

Volunteers groups including the North Carolina Baptist Men, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross all worked to clean up debris in the King area on Friday.

Parts of the area are unrecognizable.

"When we first got here, it was very bad," said Edsel Carter, a volunteer with the N.C. Baptist Men Disaster Relief. "There were a lot of trees down, couldn't even get their cars out."

A day has made a big difference to these yards, but the families affected by the storm are still reeling.

"They're survivors," Carter said.

"I really cried when I came here," said McKenzie Fletcher, a 10-year-old whose family's home was hit by the storm.

"All of these tree limbs were down and you couldn't even see our front door or our side door. It was overwhelming and it still is," said Tricia Scherer, who lives on YMCA Camp Road.

What's left behind is beyond what they can clean up alone.

"There's a lot of tree limbs hanging, it looks like, just by threads," Scherer said. "They're so entangled. We don't know which one to cut first or what will happen when we do cut them. And it looks very dangerous for anyone to undertake."

But volunteers groups are ready to take it. They may be dealing with the storm's aftermath, but they're feeling its impact too.

"A lot tears shed when you come to a job like this," Carter said.

"These people are amazing, because they've been helping us, and when the other people were here getting the tree off, they were very gentle, so they're very good people," McKenzie said.

"Working like bees, helping people," added Scherer.

Stokes County hasn't confirmed if their crews will pick up debris from people's yards. The volunteers groups suggest putting any debris that you can safely move yourself on your yard next to the curb, so volunteers can easily reach it.