View From the Hill: WKU GeoScience students continue helping pick up after tornado

View From The Hill: Tornado Recovery
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 7:11 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Nearly four weeks after deadly tornadoes tore through Bowling Green, an army of volunteers continues to help pick up the pieces.

“Long hours, starting early in the morning and sometimes ending the next day early in the morning,” said Trayson Lawler, WKU senior.

Trayson Lawler and Matthew Wisenden are among dozens of geoscience students who’ve been doing both physical and humanitarian work in the aftermath of the December 11th tornadoes.

“One of the first nights we were cleaning up we found like 200 old photos, and like newspaper clippings from the 40′s and 30′s, really really old stuff so we gathered all that and I actually managed to find the family on Facebook that it all belonged to and returned it to them.”

GeoScience Professor Jason Polk says the work provided a unique opportunity for them to help get groundwater systems back online.

“They got to see a lot of the work we do in action. A lot of things we monitor for, a lot of things we study as far as storms, flooding, heavy rains. That sort of thing,” said Polk.

Volunteers at WKU’s Food Pantry jumped into action to help meet the short-term and long-term needs of those impacted.

“We started doing that immediately on day one and we’ve been open every day since then including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day doing the same same thing.”

And the WKU Restaurant Group partnered with local school districts to provide more than four thousand meals to affected individuals.

“We were able to reach out to our contacts and were able to provide some food and meals both through the Bowling Green Independent School system and also Warren County Public Schools.”

So many examples of teamwork, helping a community get back on its feet.

“It’s been really impressive how quickly everyone mobilized. I was amazed at how much help there was, people literally just walking around offering help.”

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