JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A powerful tornado that hit Mississippi over the weekend killed 21 and injured dozens.
The American Red Cross is deploying hundreds of members to serve those in need, to provide shelter, food, supplies, and comfort. Several members from the East Tennessee region, like Rachel Burkert, are responding.
The Red Cross told News Channel 11 that as many as 2,000 structures were either damaged or destroyed and crews on the ground continue to survey the damage.
“There’s a lot of Red Crosses that are out there looking in, checking out the area and seeing what else is out there that maybe we haven’t seen yet,” Burkert said.
Heather Carbajal, the executive director of the Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee, said that even more volunteers are heading to Mississippi, where they could spend several weeks providing assistance.
“Right now, the Red Cross has 150 people on the ground supporting the tornado response with another 140 on the way. We’re there with shelters, making sure people have a safe place to sleep, that they have warm food, hot showers, water, their basic human needs are being met,” Carbajal said.
Shelters are open now where people can stay, get a meal or gather information. The Red Cross is increasing the number of volunteers to provide thousands of meals in the coming days.
Severe weather has also impacted people in Alabama and Georgia. Volunteers are on the ground in those states as well. For more information on the Red Cross and how to get involved, visit www.redcross.org