On this last day of April here in St. Paul we awoke to driving rain mixed with traces of snow. We’re expecting a high today of around 50 degrees and a low tonight of 32. But family and friends agree that compared to folks in the storm-ravaged South, Minnesotans have nothing to complain about.
In the midst of the devastation from recent tornadoes across the southern landscape, the AP reports that volunteers are saving the day for many:
PRATT CITY, Ala. — Whether it's refilling blood-pressure medicine or patrolling neighborhoods in a grocery-filled pickup truck, tornado victims in splintered Southern towns say volunteers are ensuring they're well-fed and warm at night. At least a few, though, say they need more from the government: Help getting into their homes and cleaning up endless debris.
Across the twister-ravaged South, students and church groups aggressively tended to those who needed it most, clearing away wreckage and handing out food and water. Wednesday's tornadoes marked the second-deadliest day of twisters in U.S. history, leaving 341 people dead across seven states — including 249 in Alabama. Thousands were hurt, and hundreds of homes and businesses have vanished into rubble.
Federal Emergency Management Agency workers handed out information to people in shelters about how to apply for help. National Guard soldiers stood watch, searched for survivors and helped sift through debris. Churches transformed into buzzing community hubs.
In Tuscaloosa, a Red Cross shelter was handing out clothes and providing counseling for folks like Carol Peck, 55, and her 77-year-old mother. She said the shelter's First Aid station even refilled her blood pressure pills without her having to ask.
She can't explain how it happened, but she suspects her clinic contacted the shelter.
"Evidently, because I sure didn't call," she said. "They knew I was here. I don't know how, but they found me."