Tornado victims overwhelmed by outpouring of support - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Tornado victims overwhelmed by outpouring of support

Volunteers cook for hundreds. (FOX 8 Photo) Volunteers cook for hundreds. (FOX 8 Photo)

More than 300 pounds of catfish was wiped out in just a few hours in Laplace on Friday. 

“There's a lot of sad stories, but you get good thank yous for being a part of the community and serving the community,” Mike Abbott said.

Abbott and the Knights of Columbus fried fish until it ran out, feeding more than 800 affected by Tuesday’s tornado.

“The last couple of days we've done served about 2,000 meals, gave away all kinds products – water, rakes, shovels,” Abbott said.

Hot meals are something of a luxury here recently. Many residents remain in the dark for the fourth day in a row. But in a show of compassion, all the meals served under this tent were free after someone donated more than $4,000 to pay for everything.

“The misfortune of some people who do not have houses right now - they're looking at a slab,” Abbott said. “They don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
And when one organization ran out, others pitched in. Salvation Army volunteers served more than 400 dinners out of their food truck and even delivered to those who didn’t have transportation.

“Very fortunate,” Lance Madere said. “They don't have to do that, but they do. It helps.”

And those helping out didn’t forget about those working to restore power. In St. James Parish, volunteers greeted linemen and crews with massive amounts of gumbo.

But the outreach effort also includes finding a home for those who lost nearly everything.

“My living room, my dining room table, pots, pans and some clothes that were in the laundry room by the garage, and bikes and stuff like that,” Lashawn Singleton said. “It's gone.”

The tornado ripped Singleton's roof off while her three kids were inside. All made it out safe. And the entire family will rest easy tonight after someone found them another home of their own to live in.

Though her belongings are gone, singleton hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

“Everybody helping and chipping in to get some clothes and stuff, that's the great thing, but I'm just hoping somebody says, ‘here we got a sofa and a dining room table - you come and get this,’” she said, laughing. “I'll still be good. I'm still counting joy because we have a roof over our head and I've still got my kids.”

As the community pushes forward, the many helping it along say they’ll be here until the work is done.

“We are definitely going to serve until the meals are gone,” Abbott said. “It might even go until Monday or Tuesday of next week.”

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