Iowans pledge support for southern US tornado relief - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowans pledge support for southern US tornado relief


The cleanup continues in parts of the south and mid-Atlantic states after a massive storm system dropped large tornadoes in several communities.  It's estimated 17 million people were in the path of Friday's storms, killing at least two dozen people.  And Iowans are already on the front lines, helping with tornado relief.

Not much is left of Henryville, Indiana.  A massive tornado swept through the community just north of Louisville, Kentucky Friday night. 

Red Cross leader Tammie Pech of Sioux City left tornado ravaged Harrisburg, Illinois to help with relief efforts in Indiana.

"Almost every single home, almost every single building has some sort of damage.  There are areas that are completely wiped off the face of the earth," Pech said.

The Red Cross is helping meet the immediate needs of tornado victims, ranging from shelter and food to emotional support with mental health counselors.  And volunteers on the ground say there's plenty you can do to help their efforts.

 "You can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.  You can click, or you can text Red Cross to 9099 for $10 donation onto your cell phone bill.  The other way you can give right now is to donate blood or you can volunteer," said Pech.

In eastern Iowa, Helping Hands AVP in Cedar Rapids is just starting to collect donations to help with tornado relief.  The business says it's a way to pay it forward, after the community helped it out when its office was destroyed in the floods of 2008.

"Community support is just unreal.  Iowa is one of those states that if anybody needs any help, Iowa's ready to respond.  So we're looking forward to seeing how many donations we get," said Eric Hansen with Helping Hands AVP.

And every donation will go a long way in helping the millions affected by these storms in getting back on their feet.

The Helping Hands team is on stand-by to head south and provide first aid and security assistance to tornado victims.  To make a donation or volunteer to help with their efforts, call (319) 241-0090.

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