GOSHEN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of volunteers, many of them students, helped with clean-up efforts at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve on Tuesday afternoon.

An EF-1 tornado ripped through the 170-acre park just before midnight Friday and destroyed more than 300 large trees. The tornado was on the ground for nearly one mile.

“When I came the morning right after the storm and saw so many majestic trees toppled, it was like someone kicked me in the gut,” said Park Executive Director Tavia Cathcart Brown.

North Oldham Middle School and North Oldham High School canceled after-school sports activities Tuesday so students could help in park cleanup for several hours.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts also pitched in, carrying as many sticks and branches as they could to lay along the road for trailers to pick up.

“I am just thinking ‘this is bad,’ so I am thinking I really got to be here instead of just playing with friends and everything … helping out,” said 9-year old Ferenc Nagy, a Boy Scout with Troop 154.

Many of the trees that were several decades old were snapped like twigs in the 95-mph winds. Fortunately, no one was injured in the storm.

Local tree-trimming companies donated their time to help in the clean-up the Preserve. The privately-funded park does not have chainsaws large enough to cut through the largest trees. Some of them are more than 11 feet around.

The weather Tuesday afternoon was sunny and 70 degrees, which helped in bring out more volunteers. However, Friday’s night’s tornado was the type of weather the students never want to see again. 

“Just looking at the damage after, this is the first time I have seen Creasey, and it’s a lot more than I expected,” said North Oldham Middle School student Ben Becerra.  “We used to run through this park all the time.”

Park officials say there will be more days of clean-up efforts, but thanks to hundreds of volunteers Tuesday, most of the debris has been removed.

Many of those who helped out plan on being back to the park in the fall when new trees will be planted.

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