The rain has helped a lot but as of yesterday, we were still hearing fire trucks and emergency vehicle siren's as they headed back into Gatlinburg for any continuing hot spots and flare ups. While the rain was a godsend, it wasn't nearly enough and the winds continue to be high. But even once all the fire is out, the clean up efforts will last for a very long time. My son and many others that are involved in clearing roads, repairing power lines and just basically doing whatever needs to be done shared some photos on Facebook that are just the tip of the iceberg with the devastation left behind.
Local residents and businesses are coming to care and the outpouring of love and support is amazing. Many not only lost their homes and their vehicles, many have lost their jobs with businesses destroyed or temporarily can't work because they can't get back into Gatlinburg because of the clean up required.
Dolly Parton has always believed in giving back to her community in Sevier County. She has opened a funding effort where donations can be made to the Dollywood Foundation. Through the efforts of her foundation and her companies, Dollywood, DreamMore, Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure you can see so much effort being done. The Dollywood Foundation will be providing $1000.00 per month to any family that has been effected by the fires until they can get on their feet again. You can learn more about it at www.DollywoodFoundation.org
Where I work at Dixie Stampede, we have opened up hiring to offer jobs to anyone who needs work until their jobs become available again or if they no longer have a job.
The love in our community is something to be very proud of.