How you can help those impacted by deadly Mississippi tornadoes

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 8:20 PM CDT
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ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WLBT) - Many of you are still trying to process the devastating and destructive power of Friday night’s deadly tornadoes.

Debris is still littering two counties in the lower Mississippi Delta. New information was also released today after search and rescue efforts were completed.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency now confirms 21 people died across the state. The death toll was previously listed as 25. Thirteen of those deaths came from Sharkey County, and three deaths were confirmed in Humphreys County.

The massive statewide and federal response is ongoing to help you get through the storm. As thousands work to put the pieces of their lives back together in Rolling Fork, donations are flooding into the American Red Cross and local organizations.

“First of all, thank you to the amazing Magnolia State and Mississippi for being who we are. We care for each other,” said John Brown with the mid-south chapter of the American Red Cross.

“We are covered up with wonderful donations of food, water, [and] diapers. I think we have enough. We have three places in town that are full,” Emily Carter, MSU extension agent for Sharkey and Issaquena Counties, said.

However, as those around the country began to realize the impact the EF-4 tornado had last weekend, donation relief shelters are getting a little over-packed.

“Rolling Fork is a town that’s almost 2,000 on the census,” Brown said. “So, to receive goods from all around the country, the capacity to store or to distribute is very limited. People can’t take in as many goods because they don’t have a home to store it.”

So how can you better help the people impacted?

“We need donations, gift cards, and those types of things,” said Carter. “The money that comes here to the church [First Baptist Church of Rolling Fork] will go directly to the people, and that might look like cleaning up. It might be rebuilding when we get to that point.”

But if you want to get your boots on the ground and help out, the American Red Cross says there’s a way.

“With so many compassionate hearts with the availability to serve, if we don’t coordinate, we’ll get on top of each other,” Brown said. “Get a group and register to come in. If you’re an individual, find an organization that’s on the ground, such as your Red Cross. Sign up with them as a volunteer, and they will pull you in where they are.”

If you would like to volunteer through the Salvation Army, visit this link.

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