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Local ties to families impacted by recent tornadoes in South

Local ties to devastating tornadoes- December 13, 2021
Local ties to devastating tornadoes- December 13, 2021
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 12:46 AM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Emotions are running high as one Fargo woman watches members of her family battle the devastation left behind by deadly tornadoes that tracked for more than 200 miles and hit six states.

“They need prayers right now. I just worry about them all,” says Mary Gilbertson.

She says her heart is broken.

“They’ve lost their homes and the businesses they work at,” she said. “It’s just devastating to know they don’t have a home.”

She says several family members were heavily impacted by the destruction caused by the recent tornadoes that whipped through multiple states including Tennessee and Kentucky.

“My stepsister, her mom, and her brother were found in a tree. They’re in the hospital. He’s got a broken back,” Gilbertson said.

She says those family members live in the small towns of Samburg and Dresden Tennessee, which were both rocked with catastrophe.

“They need blankets, propane heaters, food, and water,” said Gilbertson.

She now worries about the young children that may miss out on the holidays.

“I think about all these little kids that don’t have Christmas now. They don’t understand any of this that’s going on,” said Gilbertson.

She says small towns like these often get forgotten about in these kinds of disasters and now she wants everyone to remember the spirit of giving.

“Every life is precious and everybody needs help sometimes,” said Gilbertson.

Local help has already made its way to some of the impacted areas along the path of those tornadoes.

Gilbertson says another sister along with a team of volunteers has gone to Tennessee to help with disaster relief.

“The Red Cross will be there to help the folks that have really lost everything. what we’re going to be doing is sheltering and we’re going to be feeding them.

More than 15 volunteers from Red Cross chapters in the tristate including North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota have been deployed to provide help in Kentucky.

“We don’t know how long this disaster will last but what we do know is our volunteers for roughly two weeks. Many of these volunteers entered in knowing they might be giving up Christmas,” said Kevin Mehrer, the executive director of the Eastern North Dakota Red Cross.

Mehrer says the organization has such gratitude for the many people who have volunteered to help.

“We are extremely grateful for all of our volunteers who have stepped up so selflessly,” he said.

For more information on how to help visit the Red Cross website.

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