LA Red Cross volunteers dispatched to tornado-struck South



Four volunteers with the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter are deploying to disaster-affected areas in Mississippi, where tornadoes and ensuing damage killed at least 32 people, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Clusters of violent tornadoes touched down across seven states Wednesday, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Louisiana, and killing at least 284 people.

Ethel Sensley, Cori Meyer and husband and wife team Susan Mitchell Butler and Thomas Butler — all members of the local Disaster Action Team — will depart New Orleans for a three-week deployment.

Devastating tornadoes in Alabama prompted Gov. Robert Bentley to activate National Guard troops to help, and Red Cross is sending an additional 40 emergency response vehicles and 25,000 ready-to-eat meals. Red Cross Blood Services also is sending blood, as well as nurses and mental health workers.

More than 1,600 people sought refuge in 65 Red Cross shelters Wednesday night. Red Cross shelters are open in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas.

To find ways to help, visit the American Red Cross website, or text REDCROSS to 90999, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Here's Court Olgvie:

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