NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Louisiana experiences its fair share of natural disasters, and when needed, people always come forward to help. For survivors of the deadly tornado outbreak in the South and Midwest, like Warren Bondi, it’s no different.
Bondi is originally from the New Orleans area. He is used to extreme weather conditions.
“Tornadoes terrify me because, you know, growing up in the south or in New Orleans, I’m used to hurricanes. We usually go out of town, ”he said.
Now living in Nashville, Tennessee, nothing could have prepared him for the terrifying night his family was to experience.
“So this is the closet we walked into and it’s just downstairs in a normal two-story house,” Bondi said. “Then the lights went out and so we closed the door and that’s when you started hearing it a lot and rumbling and the house started shaking, then I heard a drink break and I just threw myself with a blanket on the kids and the wife and the dog and started praying at that point.
His home suffered extensive damage. The garage door is missing and parts of the house are collapsed or missing. Bondi said he was grateful things didn’t go wrong
But for many families across the Heartland, it is a picture of devastation and loss. Last week’s deadly tornado outbreak claimed the lives of nearly 100 people in five states.
“It’s horrible,” said Mollie Tinnin, disaster program manager for the Louisiana Capital Region Red Cross. “There isn’t just one house here and there. It’s a whole block, a whole mile where everything’s just flattened on the ground and it’s absolutely horrible to see.
Tinnin helps tornado survivors in Mayfield, Ky. She said her experience with Hurricane Ida prepared her for this moment.
“I met so many volunteers here that when I told them I was from Louisiana, they told me about their experiences deploying for Laura and Ida and coming to help our communities,” she said. “So many of these people are giving up all the time to come and help us that it seems like a great way to return my gratitude for coming to another community that is suffering.”
Starting over is not easy. The first step is to find temporary accommodation.
“They think it’s going to be demolished,” Bondi said. “Right now we’re hoping to be able to move in on the 23rd which will be a bit closer, but I promised my kids that we would make sure we were in a house for Christmas.”
The most important needs today are shelter and shelter. Basic necessities like food, clothing, and toiletries are also needed. You can help Heal the Heartland by donating to disaster relief efforts in Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri.
Fox 8 and Gray TV are also teaming up with The Salvation Army and have so far raised over $ 297,000.
Text “HLTORNADO” to 51555 if you would like to donate to the relief effort. Click here to find out more.
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