West Side Nut Club members, other volunteers return to help debris removal in western Kentucky

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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT) More than one week later, clean up efforts continue across western Kentucky.

There is no shortage of helping hands in places like Dawson Springs. Among them: The West Side Nut Club, who returned to western Kentucky, this time in Hopkins County.

Excavators and other pieces of heavy machinery have been brought in to help with the debris removal in areas along Industrial Park Road.

“We’re at least making a dent into it,” said Mark Schoenbaum of the West Side Nut Club.

Making a dent in removing the debris in a place where it may take weeks to completely clear out.(

“It’s just so much everywhere you look. It’s hard to really focus on what to do and where to work,” said Rick Velotta, a West Side Nut Club member.

The group of about 150, which includes nut club members, farmers and Evansville area contractors, separated the rubble into piles and removed the pieces of what used to be buildings today. It comes a week after a similar effort in Bremen in Muhlenberg County, some who were back there just this past weekend.

“We brought our older boys down what we call our veteran crew, and some adults, and helped clean up one destroyed home where the survivor got into the shower stall, and that’s all that was left of the house,” Velotta said, recalling when he lead a group of boy scouts to help clean up one resident’s home recently.

“In Bremen, we were separated into groups of 12-15 guys and split out throughout the community. Here, we’re able to work as one big, large group, and hopefully make a bigger impact,” said Schoenbaum.

But underneath the rubble was a sign of hope. An American flag was found under debris at what used to be an American Legion Post building.

“It’s kind of disbelief in a pile of rubble that the flag is still together. Still holding true,” said Casey Voegel, who found it under the building’s floor.

“I was pulling some concrete chunks out and pulled it out with it. So, we figured we’d save it and give it back to one of the legion guys back there,” he explained.

As for when they’ll be able to come back down here to help continue with the cleanup, Nut Club members tells us they’re taking a wait and see approach as to when they’ll be able to do that.

(This story was originally published on December 20, 2021)

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