For tornado victims in Alabama, relief is under way after a tornado ripped through their Birmingham suburb Jan. 25.
A team from Samaritan's Purse has surveyed the area for damage and Pete Baergen, who led that group, says they found a hard-hit community.
“There are a lot of people who need help,” he tells One News Now.
The EF-3 tornado that hit the city of Fultondale injured more than 30 and took the life of a teen boy (see related story), Elliott Arigaza-Hernandez. He died while seeking shelter in his family’s basement.
Donations sought for family of teen killed in storm
A school teacher has set up a GoFundMe account to help the family of an Alabama teenager who was killed by a fallen tree in a Jan. 25 tornado.
Al.com reports the parents of Elliott Arizaga-Hernandez lost their 14-year-old son and their home in the violent storm. The tornado also sent both parents to the hospital when a tree crashed into the home and trapped them.
Jason Vogt, who taught Elliott in a geometry class, described him as a "sweet and kind" student. He set up the account to help the family with funeral expenses, medical bills, and to find a new home.
A coworker of the father has also started a GoFundMe account to help the family, Al.com reported.
Storm victims are doing their best to clean up and to help their neighbors, Baergen says, but they are attempting to do so among destroyed houses, toppled trees, and overturned automobiles.
“So it was definitely a very destructive tornado that ripped its way through Fultondale,” he says.
Samaritan's Purse is seeking volunteers to help in Fultondale’s clean-up effort. To do so, they must be at least 14 years old and sign up on the ministry’s web site.
Baergen says the ministry is organizing teams of volunteers who will be cutting trees, tarping roofs, and helping homeowners remove belongings.