Franklin Land Trust volunteers cleaning up tornado debris

CONWAY, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been 4 days since a tornado tore through parts of Western Massachusetts.

Conway was hit especially hard.

“My neighbors were home and they said it sounded like a freight train hitting the home, but most people weren’t really sure what happened once it was all done,” said Melissa Patterson, Conway resident and Program Coordinator for the Franklin Land Trust. “Come daylight the devastation really came apparent.”

The Franklin Land Trust organized a volunteer cleanup event. They met at the town common and then went to work.

Volunteers of all ages came from surrounding communities to help in the cleanup effort in Conway Wednesday. The focus of the cleanup was in the hay-fields and wetland off Whately Road. Volunteers picked up debris that came from a barn that collapsed.

“There has been so much cleanup already, it’s astonishing how much damage there is in this small area and our hearts go out to the people that live here,” said Martha Tirk of Ashfield.

“We wanted to make sure that in addition to the homes and the buildings that were impacted that this meadow and the stream that runs through it are also cleaned up,” said Wendy Ferris, Director of Community Outreach for the Franklin Land Trust.

The Lions Clubs International Foundation is awarding a $10,000 dollar grant to help people whose homes were damaged. The money will pay for food, water, clothing, and first aid items.

“Even if it was just 1 home we would have gone to LCIF, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and asked for help and that’s what we did,” said Linda Carr District Governor of Western Massachusetts 33Y for Lions International.

Carr told 22News they will deliver items to the town, after Conway completes the assessment of the needs of their residents.