Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Project Report 3/7/2007



Event: Tornado
Project Type: Short Term Response / Immediate Disaster Relief
Project Dates: 3/2/2007 – 3/6/2007
Location: Enterprise, Alabama


On 3/1/2007 Enterprise, Alabama was struck by a tornado that killed 9 people and caused extensive damage throughout the city. Persevere responded quickly by touring the affected area located roughly 4.5 hours from Persevere’s Mississippi operations center. After assessing the damage Persevere made nearby housing arrangements and sent for tree removal equipment in Mississippi. The tornado that touched down in Enterprise was more devastating than the tornado that hit Lady Lake, FL exactly one moth earlier.

Jim Mahar, Persevere board member and Director of BonaResponds diverted Bona’s 60 person spring break service trip to Alabama for several days to aid in the tornado recovery.

Persevere’s third disaster relief project was a complete success. We managed to sustain our Katrina Relief efforts while simultaneously responding to the Enterprise Tornado devastation. This marked the first time that Persevere has had two separate disaster relief projects operating at the same time. We had 23 volunteers working in Mississippi and 60 from BonaResponds in Alabama.

Our focus was on clearing trees and debris on/around homes. We cut approximately 50 trees and cleared 10 yards full of damaged trees and debris. BonaResponds volunteers also helped clear debris from a cemetery and comb through scattered belongings with residents trying to salvage keepsakes. Persevere’s high powered chainsaws allowed us to tackle the biggest and toughest trees that fell. Many volunteers in the area were equipped with “homeowner” chainsaws and helped a great deal but were unable to even attempt the older and thicker trees. With our professional saws and experience we were able to handle the most intimidating of trees. In only four work days we were able to remove 50 trees. We cleared several massive oaks that dated back well before the Civil War. Our efforts in removing trees that fell through and beside homes saved survivors thousands of dollars that can now be spent on repairs rather than clean-up.


Persevere teamed up with 60 volunteers from BonaResponds to provide assistance to those affected in Enterperise, AL. BonaResponds is a service organization comprised of current students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the St. Bonaventure University and Western NY community. Persevere’s experienced tree team cut while the BonaResponds volunteers hauled and cleared debris. BonaResponds made an invaluable contribution to this relief effort. We also worked alongside the various members of the community and the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Team.

Housing was graciously donated by the Coffee Baptist Vineyard Retreat Center located just outside Enterprise in Ariton, AL.

By the Numbers:

Volunteer Hours: 876

Project Expenses (fuel, meals, supplies): $194.15

Total Value of Donated Labor: $18,396.00

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