BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WTVM) -- Three months after deadly tornadoes ripped through Lee County, a man is still spending almost every day helping people rebuild their lives.
Three months after deadly tornadoes ripped through Lee County, a man is still spending almost every day helping people rebuild their lives. (Source: WTVM)
Today, a few new homes litter the landscape of the east Alabama community of Beauregard, but many families are still dealing with the remnants of their homes and belongings, trying to clear a way back to a normal life.
Though most of the volunteers are gone, Thomas Ledbetter is still working day after day.
“I’ve lost everything before, and I know how it feels, so I’d rather just give back,” Ledbetter said.
Though born and raised in Beauregard, Ledbetter was not here during the tornadoes. But he came back immediately after, and has been busy tearing down destroyed homes, clearing up fallen trees and moving debris for any family that needs it.
“This right here is number 18,” he said.
Ledbetter essentially put his life on hold, pausing the business he owns and runs, to help families in Beauregard. All of this comes at no cost to the family.
“We’re not here to charge them and put them even further behind," Ledbetter said.
Connie Gates said it is a blessing to have Ledbetter pouring his time and money and energy into helping others.
“He is a little bright spot,” she said.
She said there are times he is out working all night at the properties. Some people have driven by and seen him working well past midnight.
“He’s slept at some of [the home sites], and I feel bad because at night when it’s my normal bedtime, I know he’s out there still working,” she said.
Ledbetter does all he can on his own, but has had donations from churches and individuals to pay for equipment rentals, fuel and other necessities when he has needed help.
Gates set up a fundraiser selling t-shirts to help continue to fund Ledbetter’s efforts. Click here to buy one of these t-shirts.
The Lee County Emergency Management Agency said the last round of debris cleanup on the right of ways for roads will begin June 17.
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