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Posted on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

Urgent need: Dexter area seeks more tornado cleanup volunteers on Saturday

By Paula Gardner

The Dexter area is relying on volunteers for a tornado cleanup blitz on Saturday, and at the midway point officials are asking for more help.


Lisa Allmendinger |

At least 500 people were in the Dexter area by 1 p.m., but hundreds more could be put to work to clear brush near Dexter-Pinckney Road and in other areas.

"We are looking for able adults," said Niki Polzin, a volunteer stationed at the Dexter Township Hall. "... Anybody willing to come out and put on a pair of gloves and haul stuff around."

The need will continue on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Polzin added.

Volunteers should bring chainsaws, if possible. Also sought are people with trucks and trailers "to haul debris out of the tornado zone to our dump sites," Polzin said.

Volunteers should drive to Hudson Mills Metropark, avoiding Dexter-Pinckney Road.

Once at the park, they'll be driven in a group to a work site, Polzin said. School buses and other transportation will be waiting at the park, where the volunteers can leave their cars.

Many volunteers are clustered in the Carriage Hills subdivision, but needs exist across the path of destruction left by the March 15 tornado.

Saturday's weather may have limited volunteer response, Polzin said. However, there has only been intermittent light rain and it hasn't stopped the work.

Volunteers are asked to leave children at home due to the heavy equipment at the cleanup, Polzin added.



Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

We live on Dexter Pinckney Rd. We had family and friends come with chain saws and trucks to help on Saturday. Most of them had to argue with the Police at the check points to get through. A few volunteers wandered through to help also. The Salvation Army volunteers dropped off water and candy for our helpers- very nice! There is still mountains of brush, sticks, debris and trees to cut down and move. No news or direction from the Township- where and how does all of this debris supposed to be gotten rid of? When calling the Township, you only get an answering machine.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 10:07 a.m.

More volunteers? Huh. Thats funny (not haha funny). I was turned away twice. Once by a county sherrif, and once by some "official". I can't understand why someone can't just help out. No signing up, no waiting in some staging area, no politics. Just help.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

I was there today and I have to agree with @slug. The township doesn't know what they are doing. I can't imagine how hard it is to coordinate something like this. I signed up to volunteer on the township web page and was asked to bring my truck and trailer to haul debris to the dumpsters. The fist house I was sent to didn't have any debris in the yard. There was only a large tree that had to be cut up and dragged to the roadside. I helped the homeowner there for over two hours and no other volunteers showed up. We were told on two different occasions more people were on the way. I don't know why I was sent to a location with a trailer to load and no people to load it. Apparently all the volunteers were sent to Carriage Hills. I don't need to describe the day detail by detail but I went to two more locations and never saw any other volunteers. I was in contact with" township officials" all day and they kept telling me people were on the way. At 3:00 they told me I should go home all the work was winding down for the day. I'm glad I got the chance to help the people that I did help but it could have been more effective if the more people were sent to the same area.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

Can't do "heavy work" but can cook, serve food, etc., etc.! Need me??


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

You know about 12 a man and woman pulled into the culdsak with a pickup, pulled out a folding table, bread, cold cuts, condiments, it was awesome! I heard there was some homemade Matisocillio but i missed it anything is apprecieated by these folks and the volunteers


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

Part of the problem today was that people were initially turned away, then sent to an unnecessary out-of-the-way "staging area." Let people help, let them park, don't confuse them. Last weekend worked out just fine with volunteers and it was sooo helpful. Township: stop micro-managing needlessly.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

difference between the state running things last weekend and the county this weekend. I bypassed all the check points today and went straight to work area


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

I was in the 'horseshoe' subdivision all day great turn out unbelievable the amount of destruction and unbelievable turnout of volunteers! Thanks to all - great job! had a lot of fun met alot of nice people made a real difference for a lot of people!

Paula Gardner

Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Also, anyone who wants to talk to the township directly can call 734 426-3767.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

Only until 5 today, but it sounds like they'll be doing it from 9-5 Sunday now. Will update shortly.


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

Just saw this article. At work until 4:30pm. How long/late are cleanup crews being deployed?