One of the things I’ve learned about the overland community is that everyone cares for everyone. If someone is in need of help expect an Overlander to show up with numbers. This couldn’t be any more true about the crew that showed up to assist my community by clearing trees and debris from homes and roads after the recent tornadoes on November 29-30th 2016.

Above photo from The Weather Channel

About 2:00-2:30am an EF-3 tornado with about 160 mph winds ripped through Ocoee and Old fort Tennessee leaving homes demolished and completely unrecognizable the tornado took out our power grids for nearly the entire county with it as well. Along with the destruction we lost a post office and one of our small fire stations, worst of all the small Tennessee community lost two human lives.


Hearing the news Volunteers flooded me on social networks asking to help or donate goods for our area honestly, I became very overwhelmed and unorganized by the rush of messages. But we finally set up a volunteer date with Richard Taylor from Polk County fire and rescue, which was Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 he organized all the incoming volunteers at a lodge dispatching and assigning work orders to everyone.


Our work orders had us going to Stump Road in Ocoee, Tennessee to assist with clearing which is what they called “ground zero” the worst area hit. The Overland group loaded into chainsaw filled rigs and convoyed to the desired location and we began to see heartbreak destruction almost like a war zone.


Once we settled into our parking area, we began to prep for a long day of chainsawing. Everyone filled their chainsaw gas tanks and adjusted their chains moments before we started walking home to home.


Photo from Dunn Fout – Homegrown Overland

In my past experiences Tornado victims are typically very thankful when volunteers show up, especially the individuals and families that have lost nearly everything. It gives them reassurance that they are not alone and will always have someone to lean on even in the worst of times. So we encourage you to get up off that computer and go find someone to help even the little things put a smile on someone’s face.


The Earthbound Overland Chainsaw crew consisted of:

Joshua Shaw- Polk County TN

Ceatta Collins- Polk County TN

Dunn Fout- Virginia

Zach Jansen- Chattanooga

Joseph Bootstrap- Northeast Georgia

Taylor Posey- Northeast Georgia

Josh Bent- Chattanooga

Brandon- Polk County TN

Steve- Northwest Georgia

Special thanks to Richard Taylor and all volunteers that supplied us food and water throughout the day. Those BBQ ribs were perfect!

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Based out of Southeast Tennessee we at Earthbound Overland strive to connect as many people as possible in this sport. We encourage everyone to write an article article or two essentially letting the world know who you are and who you represent.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you all so much for your help on Stump St! I was in no shape mentally or physically to do anything but sleep and color in my art therapy book afterwards. Once I knew the status of everyone and found all 4 pets I packed up the dogs, filled up the cat food bowls and got a ride in the back of a pickup truck to Benton! I don’t know how y’all stand it but I hope one day I’m able to give back as much as has been given to me. We have been curious as to who so many of the volunteers were do my stepmom “The Boss of Stump St” as I’ve named her, will be thrilled and want to thank you all. I’m wondering if some of you ate and warmed up in my house?? She sent me pics of a house full of volunteers eating and praying. It was so heartwarming to see and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to thank EVERYONE but watching people sort thru and throw away pieces of your life can’t be therapeutic! It’s definitely brought my family and my community closer to me. Near death experiences do that apparently! I’m certainly closer to God now too! That angry tornado threw me outta bed 50 feet and slammed me into the fridge but God held me there. No matter what I know I will be okay because He and countless others are making sure I am! Endless thanks to all involved in helping make Stump St a home again for us! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Sincerely,
    Cydney Dixon
    172 Stump St