DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio volunteers are helping with cleanup efforts in Mississippi after a tornado hit the state on March 24.
A group of volunteers left Columbus on April 5 to join a team already on the ground in Rolling Fork. They are helping people find shelter and food while connecting them with resources and information.
The Rolling Fork area was hit hard, leaving a trail of destruction and at least 25 people dead. Nearly 300 homes and businesses have been declared a total loss, with hundreds of other structures were badly damaged. FEMA plans to open disaster recovery centers for residents.
“In these particular areas, especially Fork and Silver City, just wide swaths of the community are gone, and you think about will the people in this community ever be able to come back? They will have to be completely leveled in order to be able to build anything else,” Stephanie Byrd, Regional CEO for the Central & Southern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross, said.
Despite the devastation, both volunteers and survivors say they are doing their best to pick each other up.
“We’re seeing the best of people and what the human spirit will do for people who are in need of our help,” Byrd said. “But also gratefulness from those who are receiving the help and appreciation for our being here.”
More information about the Central & Southern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross, including volunteer opportunities, can be found on their website.