Putnam County has been so overwhelmed with volunteers coming to help with tornado cleanup that officials say it’s become a problem.
Hundreds showed up as part of an organized effort Wednesday, and many more appeared in hard-hit neighborhoods to lend a hand.
But the influx of volunteers caused traffic congestion and slowed the work of heavy equipment and power crews.
Now Mayor Randy Porter is asking volunteers to stay away from Putnam County on Thursday so power can be restored where possible.
“The power companies are planning on stretching cable, which makes the area very dangerous for folks to be in,” he said late Wednesday. “And our main concern is that we have no one else get hurt in this disaster.”
Mayor Porter says volunteers will be alerted when it’s time to return.
Mount Juliet also had to close its volunteer registration portal Wednesday night after being flooded with 3,000 signups. Currently, only people who’ve received confirmation messages are asked to participate in the cleanup.
“Those who still wish to volunteer should offer their support to other impacted communities as the Mt. Juliet community has maxed-out on the level of volunteers needed,” the Mount Juliet police department said on its website.
In Davidson County, volunteers are being coordinated through the Hands on Nashville website.
As of midday Wednesday, 14,000 people had signed up. Tracking volunteers will become important as the affected areas make a case for federal assistance.