Columbia, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of volunteers and church groups are coming to the aid of storm victims in Columbia. That's where Tuesday's tornado killed two people and left a widespread trail of debris and destruction.
Storm debris from blown out homes and businesses covers large sections of town where the twister touched down.
"We came out today to try and help the community," said Amanda Ramos, as she picked up pieces of debris and hauled them to the street side.
Disaster volunteers like Ramos are helping residents round up all that sheet metal and insulation and building materials.
"If anybody can help, please come and help. If it's just picking up trash to bring it to the edge of the road. Families are just really thankful that we're out here," said Ramos.
With so many belongings swept away, people there are doing their best to salvage what little they can. The storage unit off Highway 98 was badly damaged, but some items can be recovered.
"And now I'm like, where are we going to put it? Where's everything going to go? I don't know," said Doniece Tolbert, as her son sorted through boxes of belongings.
Like so many storm survivors, she understands that material things mean so little. Tolbert and her grandchildren are thankful for their lives this Christmas.
"Trees fell. Stuff shook. Things were thrown around. I have a car that's under a tree now, but we can't get it out. But our lives were saved. God is good. Yes," she said.
Obviously, the clean-up alone will take many weeks, if not months. But that being said, a steady stream of volunteers and church groups is pouring into this community to help. Woodlawn Church on Highway 98 is the disaster response command center.
"Volunteer organizations from all over the state, all over the nation, have been rolling through here. We're just trying to put a system together so we're not double dipping and on top of one another. And the system is working phenomenal today," said pastor Jerron Carney.
There's plenty of work remaining and, so far, people willing to do whatever they can to lend a hand.
"Every little bit helps. The community needs to pull together in a time like this," said Ramos.