Volunteers from across U.S. continue to help with tornado relief

Volunteers from across U.S. continue to help with tornado relief

Volunteers from the Pine Belt and across the nation continue to help those who suffered damage in the Dec. 23 tornado.

"We've got a guy that flew down from Pennsylvania that's an expert heavy equipment operator," said Chris Crawford, volunteer outreach coordinator with Columbia Strong. "We've got a guy from Las Vegas that drove his 18-wheeler in, because he wanted to help.  We've got a crew from Pascagoula that's here, we had a search and rescue team from Kentucky," he said.

The Columbia Strong organization is coordinating many of the volunteer efforts to clean-up streets and property. 

That group says a Facebook page started in Columbia, South Carolina has been set up to help folks in Columbia, Mississippi. 

Meanwhile, American Red Cross volunteers have been going door-to-door with water, snacks and other items for storm victims. Since the twister, about 170 people in both Marion and Jones County have been assisted by that organization. 

"It's something that, even though it's exhausting and 12 and 14-hour days in some cases, when you're helping somebody, it makes for an easier task," said Connie Lang, a case worker volunteer for the American Red Cross.  She's been working in Columbia since Dec. 24. 

Since the tornado, the American Red Cross has distributed more than 4,700 meals and snacks and 1,500 bulk items, such as plastic tubs and cleaning supplies.  

108 Red Cross disaster responders from Mississippi and Louisiana have been deployed to storm-affected areas.

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