Disaster relief efforts pouring in after deadly twister tears through Columbus

It’s the first tornado death in the country for 2019.
Updated: Feb. 26, 2019 at 8:11 PM CST
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COLUMBUS, MS (WLBT) - Disaster relief efforts are pouring in after a deadly twister tore through Columbus, leaving a path of destruction. It’s the first tornado death in the country for 2019.

RELATED STORY: 1 killed, at least 11 injured after damaging tornado slams Columbus

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are calling on people to dig deep in their pockets and give to those who need it the most.

“There was devastation everywhere,” said Erica Bradshaw.

Bradshaw is the chief development officer for Red Cross in the Mississippi region.

She was in Columbus on Monday to see the widespread devastation left behind from the EF 3 tornado.

“With the tornado, you can see it touched down and it hit in different areas," she sad. “There could be a building still intact, and right next to that you can have a completely destroyed building.”

Bradshaw says the Red Cross is stepping up to provide food and shelter to help storm victims as they begin to clean up and rebuild their lives.

“When everything started, we had the three shelters opened," she said. “In Columbus, we are still sheltering and providing 250 lunches and 250 meals daily."

The Salvation Army has also been providing supplies and needed support to the storm-ravaged town.

“We are staged in Columbus at a local funeral home, where we are providing hot meals and also supply kits that contain blankets and other snacks, and supplies that the residents may need until their power is restored," said Salvation Army’s Terry Lightheart. “Right now, we are using local volunteers that already associated with the Salvation Army in the community.”

Both the Salvation Army and Red Cross say they are committed to providing onsite assistance during this long road to recovery in Columbus. They are also encouraging people around the country to go to their websites or call to give money and or time to families in need.

“Pay it forward, because the next time it could be you,” said Bradshaw.

“The more we talk about it, the more help will come to that community,” said Lightheart.

To learn more about how to help storm victims, you can go to the Red Cross Facebook page. You can also donate to Columbus victims through the Salvation Army.

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