Lake Park Man Was Previous Tornado Relief Volunteer

By: Eames Yates Email
By: Eames Yates Email
For one Lowndes County resident, seeing the coverage of Oklahoma

Photo Credit: Brennan Linsley/AP

By Eames Yates
May 22, 2013

Lowndes County, GA - Lake Park resident Raymond Bland has seen first hand what a tornado can do. Homes obliterated, schools leveled and lives lost.

He said "I believe I'd rather be in any war zone than what I saw out there."

Bland helped families who had lost everything in Oklahoma when a devastating tornado tore through, back in May of 1999. Thirty-six were killed and nearly three-hundred injured. He had initially been on a trip to help his daughter Marcy move, but that deadly twister planted the seed for an idea that would help hundreds.

Bland said "I called out there and I got a list of things that they needed. And I went to Sam's and I started buying and I loaded up that seven thousand pound dual action trailer."

Bland brought things like toilet paper, food and tooth brushes. Once in the 'damage zone' he encountered a scene eerily similar to what it looks like now.

Bland said "when we went out into that neighborhood and I could see the people and talk to the people you could see it in their eyes. They was in a, they couldn't get a hold of what happened in their mind. They couldn't get a hold of what had happened. They was in an actual daze."

The 1999 tornado missed Marcy Bland's house by about two miles. Her neighbors weren't so lucky.


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