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Former deputy in Scott County among volunteers in Nashville

Posted at 6:48 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:48:18-05

COOKEVILLE, Tn. (LEX 18) — A former deputy with Scott County's Emergency Management now works for a company that serves one of the hardest hit areas of Tennessee. That's why he has gathered supplies and hit the road for the Volunteer State.

"Houses totally demolished, stuff driven through things, pieces of wood driven into the ground straight up," Bueford McDonald said.

With previous experience in emergency management, McDonald is no stranger to horrific sights.

"I've seen several people this morning," McDonald noted. " I patted them on the back and asked if they were okay while they were sitting outside a pile of rubble."

The former deputy now works for a propane company which has a lot of customers and workers in Cookeville. He says he panicked Monday when he couldn't get a hold of one of his employees.

"I started loading up supplies and getting ready to head this way because if we couldn't locate him, I was going to go looking for him."

With chainsaws, generators, gasoline, gloves and flashlights in tow, McDonald headed to the Volunteer State. When he got to the area, McDonald saw he was only one of thousands of people who made the same drive to help.

"The parking lot at the old Hobby Lobby was full," McDonald said. "They moved one group over from Search and Rescue to another school, they filled that parking lot up."

McDonald says he plans on staying in Tennessee through the end of the week.

"Neighbors are helping neighbors, folks are coming from all over and helping people out," McDonald said. "Guys are showing up with tractors, trucks, generators, backhoes."