Eureka tornado recovery: How you can help

EUREKA, Kan. Downed power lines, blocks of debris and still more than 1,000 people without power: Two days removed from an EF-3 tornado, there's a lot of work ahead in coming days, weeks and months for the City of Eureka.

Slowly but surely, there's progress in the clean-up effort, thanks to hundreds of volunteers from across Kansas and beyond. The volunteer help comes from non-profit organizations, state agencies, first responders and citizens.

About 300 volunteers showed up Thursday morning at the Matt Samuels Community Center at 100 N. Jefferson Street. That location is where volunteers check in before heading out into the community.

While volunteers got a lot done Thursday, Greenwood County Sheriff Heath Samuels says more help is needed in coming days.

"We're looking for people that work in this heat, a little bit stronger to haul some brush," Samuels says. "If you want to take the family and do something for the day and come help the community, we would appreciate it so much."

Wednesday, Samuels said volunteers are needed mainly to clean up tree debris. He said those wanting to help should come prepared with gloves, safety glasses, boots, jeans and rakes.

The sheriff says residents and volunteers are asked to separate hazardous waste from other storm debris. It can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste facility at 510 S. Jefferson.

As citizen volunteers gather to clean up debris, help to Eureka also comes from non-profit organizations, businesses, state agencies and first responders from communities across Kansas.

Westar Energy remains busy working to restore power in the community. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 1,000 people in Eureka remain without power.

If you're unable to get to Eureka, but want to help people in the community, the sheriff's office says you can donate money to established volunteer organizations, including:

* American Red Cross

* Salvation Army

Harvesters Community Food Network

United Way

The American Red Cross shelter remains open at the Methodist church at 521 N. Main Street in Eureka. The church is also a cooling station during the day for residents and volunteers.

"We're really starting to get our hands dirty and starting to see a lot of debris get moved away from the house and the street," Samuels says.