SILVER CITY, Mississippi — When tornados hit north Mississippi Friday night, it didn’t take long for the United Cajun Navy to load up a refrigerated truck in Baton Rouge.
“We loaded that up with perishables and we sent some volunteers with that truck up there,” said Cajun Nave Vice President Brian Trascher.
Trascher says those volunteers set up a distribution site in Sliver City. It’s one of two towns hit hard by a deadly EF-4 tornado that was on the ground for 59 miles. The road to recovery will be much longer.
“One thing that I think has exacerbated the problem is that this is a very economically depressed area, so people are already struggling and now they’ve lost everything,” Trascher said.
Getting immediate help to those people isn’t easy.
“All the cars are destroyed like this one behind me. People don’t form a car line; they actually can’t leave. They’re walking around so we’re bringing supplies to them in the community,” said founder of Cajun Navy Ground Force Ross Gaudet.
His organization is not affiliated with the United Cajun Navy.
Gaudet had a staging area in Rolling Fork Monday. He got there just before Sunrise Saturday.
“Search and rescue was still going on when I got here. When the sun came up it was really shocking,” Gaudet said.
“It’s a major need,” said American Red Cross of Louisiana CEO Shawn Schuleze. “There are so many people who just don’t have a place to go home to.”
Schuleze says they've already served 53,000 meals and set up shelters for more than a thousand people. More than 400 red cross volunteers are on the ground, delivering any help they can.
“Could be blue tarps, could be blankets, could be food, could be as simple as a hug,” said Schuleze. “They’re just going shelter to shelter, home to home, helping people sift through their life and through their belongings that have just been torn apart
Putting them back together will take time and helping hands from strangers.
“We’re going to be in a similar situation when hurricanes roll in and they’re going to help us so if you can get out there and support them, please do,” said Schuleze.
If you’d like to help with relief efforts through donations or volunteering, you can check out these websites.