By Message Staff
LAPLACE – The River Parishes campus of Celebration Church is collecting donations for those affected by Tuesday’s powerful tornadoes that ripped through southeast Louisiana.
The biggest immediate needs for tornado victims in LaPlace according to Checkerz Williams, pastor of River Parishes campus of Celebration Church, are tarps and cleaning supplies. Among the items needed are gloves, yard rakes, all-purpose cleaner, bleach, Clorox wipes, mops, brooms, five gallon buckets and yard trash bags. All donations can be dropped off today at the church, located at 3400 US 51 in LaPlace.
Ten tornadoes hit Louisiana on Tuesday according to the National Weather Service, including four EF-2 tornadoes that were responsible for significant damage in Convent, LaPlace, Paincourtville and Livingston Parish.
Thursday, the National Weather Service said the four EF-2 tornadoes packed winds of 111-135 miles per hour.
The Convent tornado destroyed more than 100 structures at the Sugar Hill RV Park, causing two confirmed deaths and injuring 30 more. The LaPlace twister destroyed or severely damaged more than 200 homes in several subdivisions.
LaPlace is located just 25 miles west of New Orleans while Convent is 50 miles west of the Crescent City.
The other six confirmed tornadoes [EF-0] hit Lacombe, Kenner, Madisonville, Manchac, Montpelier and Prairieville with winds of 65-85 mph.
NWS survey teams are continuing to investigate several other suspected sites for tornado damage.
Williams said people in his area are hurting and need the love of Christ to shine in the aftermath of this disaster. He is asking in addition to donations that Christians pray for the people there and those who will be ministering to them in the days and weeks ahead.
“People are devastated,” he said. “Many lost everything in Hurricane Isaac. Now, they have lost it all in the tornadoes.”
LOUISIANA DR TEAMS MOBILIZED
Louisiana Baptist disaster relief teams are now mobilized and are beginning to minister in areas affected by Tuesday’s tornadoes.
Southeast Regional Coordinator Tom Long said a chainsaw team from Lafayette is already in LaPlace while another chainsaw team, made up of volunteers from Baton Rouge, Denham Springs and Hammond, is working in Livingston.
Freddie Arnold of the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association is currently assessing needs in Convent, Livingston and Napoleonville. In the future, assessors and chaplains may go to LaPlace, Long said.
The longevity of their ministry to south Louisiana storm victims may be known later today, when disaster relief leaders learn how many other organizations are coming to help as well.
If anyone trained in disaster relief would like to volunteer for cleanup efforts, they should contact their regional representative. Anyone wishing to donate should visit the Louisiana Baptist disaster relief site.
An aerial view of damage in Paincourtville.
Posted by Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on Wednesday, February 24, 2016