Volunteers begin cleaning up Convent neighborhoods after tornado

Volunteers begin cleaning up convent neighborhoods after tornado
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

CONVENT, LA (WAFB) - Volunteers from across south Louisiana came together Saturday to start the cleanup process in Convent, La.

Dozens of volunteers centered their work on Water Tower Street, located just blocks from the Sugar Hill RV Park, where two people died in Tuesday's tornado. While some volunteers collected and sorted trash at the plots of former trailer homes, others went door-to-door, dropping off meals and water to storm victims.

"This is where I am originally from and I moved from down here when I was like 11 years old. Just to be able to come back and help, it really feels good. This is family," said Dantrice Johnson Smith, a former resident of Water Tower Street who organized the volunteer effort.

The devastation even prompted individuals from communities with long-held disagreements to come together.

"Lutcher and Convent always had differences but just let them know we're here for them, especially in a time of need. That it's all love. It's going to take a while to rebuild, but we're trying to help put a step forward," said Dyrrhus Batiste, a volunteer from Lutcher.

Raven Thomas was one of those who received help today. Her trailer home was destroyed in the tornado. The intense winds flipped the trailer, before it landed in the middle of the street.

"I'm just happy I wasn't here with my children because I'm not sure they would have survived," said Thomas, before giving thanks for the volunteers. "The way they came together, the way people are coming together around here to help each other out - it's really a blessing."

Other volunteers, including those from the Red Cross, also made rounds today in Convent. They passed out food and water to victims. Crews also worked on the downed power lines. Entergy reported on their website Saturday morning that power has for the most part been restored in the neighborhoods surrounding Sugar Hill RV Park.

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