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Dayton Residents Serving Tornado Victims in Arkansas, Mississippi
DAYTON -- Folks devastated by the tornadoes in Arkansas and Mississippi on April 27 are getting some help from Dayton residents.
President Barack Obama has already declared the hardest hit regions as a major disaster area and he will be traveling there Wednesday to visit the devastated communities.
Meanwhile, seven volunteers from the Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross are in Arkansas and Mississippi right now to help the people affected by the storms. They traveled more than 700 miles after an EF-4 tornado cut through Arkansas on Sunday, killing 15 people and destroying hundreds of homes. The next day a tornado with winds of up to 150 mph, damaged more than 200 homes and businesses and killed at least 14 people in Mississippi.
We spoke with one volunteer from Dayton who has been serving in Meridian, Mississippi, since Tuesday night. She describes how big the need is right now.
"The need right now is bigger than what most people can imagine. You hear things on the news but actually being out here and seeing it is more than what gets out there," said Dayton Chapter volunteer CJ Moore. "The craziest thing that I've seen is people walking around with neighbors not knowing where their house used to be. They know the general vicinity but can't tell you where there lot is."
Moore says she spent much of the day distributing supplies to the volunteers.
"Just coming down here for a day or two helps out a lot. It gives people who are down here for months or weeks a day off. Everyone needs a mental break from any kind of situation like this," she said.
The Red Cross is providing comfort and hope to thousands of people across 13 states whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastating severe weather that swept across the country over the past week.
"We are serving over 200,000 meals a day going to the neighborhoods because some people, even though they're able to stay in their house that no power no lights nothing," said Jack Kavanagh, a Red Cross volunteer from Boston working as the Disaster Feeding Manager in Vilonia outside Little Rock. "It's quite extraordinary the amount of people that have been coming from everywhere. Everyone's helping each other. You don't have very many people in shelters because so many people have extended families or they also have friends and people are giving them a place to stay when their homes are totally destroyed. So I would say the morale is remarkably high."
"I would hope that anytime anything ever happens in Dayton those same people would jump on a plane, get in their cars, come down here to help us out," said Moore.
This has actually become the largest disaster the Red Cross has experienced since Superstorm Sandy and they are asking for your donations.
Your donation can be made through:
calling the Dayton Red Cross at 937-222-6711
mailing to the Dayton Red Cross at 370 W. First St., Dayton, OH 45402
texting REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation
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