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Civilian response team from central Indiana volunteers in tornado-ravaged Kentucky

The group deployed to Gilbertsville, Kentucky, after storms wrecked the area on Dec. 10.

INDIANAPOLIS — Since a deadly tornado outbreak ripped through Kentucky and destroyed homes and killed dozens, the cleanup has been a huge undertaking, but so many people have stepped up to answer the call — including some Hoosiers. 

"The closer you get to that area, the more devastation you could see," said Civilian Crisis Response Team technician Amy Flowers.

Photos taken by volunteers with CCRT showed the devastation they witnessed while volunteering in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, after deadly tornadoes wrecked the area.

Credit: CCRT

"There were houses that were just gone. There were trees everywhere. It was very horrific," said Flowers.

Despite the destruction caught on camera, volunteers said photos didn't do it justice.

"You may be walking along and suddenly you see lawn furniture 40 feet up in a tree. There are cars that have been moved to places you never thought a car could be moved. Along with that is the knowledge that every item you see out of place, be it just a tree or somebody's belongings, came from somebody's life," said CCRT executive director Jeremy Snarski.

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The Indiana nonprofit has members across the country, mostly in the Midwest. Its mission is to help people and communities survive and recover.

They hope they accomplished that mission in Kentucky by clearing debris and power lines, identifying locations that needed assistance, tarping and even assisting with a successful search and rescue.

"It's emotionally draining and filling at the same time, because you see the devastation, then you see the response. You see people gathered together and neighbors leaning on neighbors to help in any way that they can," said Snarski.

That's why they do it.

Credit: CCRT

"One of the reasons that I actually do this is so that I can make a difference. At least think I can make a difference in at least one person's life," said Flowers.

Click here for more information on how to volunteer or to donate toward their efforts.

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