Saturday April 16, 2011 will be a day long remembered by most Fayetteville and Fort Bragg residents. That afternoon was filled with torrential downpours, thunder and lightning, typical for this time of year in the Fort Bragg area. Not so typical was the category F3 tornado that touched down in the vicinity of Yadkin and Reilly Road. Several neighborhoods were left in ruins. Long standing local businesses were razed to their foundations. Trees were snapped in half and strewn all over the local area. Power lines were snapped and lay across roads leaving some areas temporarily impassable. The amount of devastation is unlike anything seen in the Fayetteville area for several years.
Recognizing that these homes and businesses belong to our neighbors and our community, SFC Berentis (Gold Team Leader) asked his Team how they would feel about helping the residents near the epicenter of the disaster. It was a unanimous “Yes”. Hauling chainsaws, lawn tractors, coolers of ice and water, extra fuel and propane tanks, the members of Gold demonstration Team set to work right away. The majority of the day was spent cutting fallen trees and separating pine from oak. Some Gold Team members assisted in patching damaged roofs and removing debris from main areas of travel. SGT Perez donated his personal generator to residents in the subdivision so they could maintain power to their residence. Basic needs, such as ice and water, electricity, and fuel was the top of the list for the day. Clearing fallen trees, broken fences and large parts of building debris is helping emergency services and City Services to accomplish the tasks they have.
Today’s work is done. After a long day of cutting, hauling, raking, and patching Gold Team sat down for a break. During the break, SFC Berentis and SFC Dunning began planning for the next day. More fuel, more propane, more water, and so on. The work is monotonous, and some people would be happy just sitting out and watching on the news. Not the Gold demonstration Team. Our neighbors and our community. Simply put, Gold Demonstration Team will be out here helping every day, until the clean up is done.