News Story

Volunteers Help Restore Town Hit by Earthquake

Over 300 Mormon volunteers endured a whiteout snowstorm on Saturday as they helped residents repair their town following a series of earthquakes. After an initial 6.0 quake 12 days ago, several aftershocks have hit the town, damaging homes and other buildings.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from congregations in Elko and West Wendover joined with residents and other volunteers in the cleanup. Among the volunteers were a number of Mormon teens.  

“I was able to go around with some of the youth,” said Dale Johnson, a Latter-day Saint leader from Elko. “We went door-to-door finding those who were in need. Everyone was very appreciative, especially the elderly.”

Mormon teenagers delivered food, changed light bulbs, hauled out trash and helped with other general clean-up jobs. They took broken picture frames to a local auto parts store, where new glass was cut and refitted. The youths also gathered information about problems that had not yet come to the attention of community authorities.

Despite windy, snowy conditions, four roofing projects were completed. Damaged chimneys were removed and roofs were reshingled on houses and on a Catholic church building.

Latter-day Saint bishop Robert Johnson said that several homes and businesses were in need of electrical and plumbing repairs. “Members of the community did what they could according to their skills and abilities and were able to make a big difference in just one day,” he said.  

Scott Egbert, a Latter-day Saint leader from Elko and the coordinator for Saturday’s event, was moved by an exchange he had with a leader from another Christian church.

“He asked me if we could now put aside our differences,” Egbert said. “I replied, ‘What differences, we’re both Christian aren’t we?’”

“To that, he quickly replied, ‘Then let’s go to work.’”

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